Video shows man trying to topple Old Town statue
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A video was taken of a man trying to topple the Don Francisco statue near Old Town. A witness says the man was talking to himself and the horse before he tried to topple the statue.
While business owners say police officers have been helpful, they are now looking to bring in some outside help to deal with the troublemakers.
“Increasingly in the last few years, particularly, is the vandalism,” said Kathy Hiatt, owner of the Bottger Mansion of Old Town.
Hiatt says the “Fountain of Peace” hasn’t had running water for years because it’s now a place for people to bathe and wash clothes.
On Monday, someone knocked the fountain over with a tow strap still wrapped around it.
Then, on Tuesday morning, a guy tried pushing over the mounted horse statue near the fountain near Rio Grande Boulevard. Don Francisco still stands, but it’s not just the statues.
“It’s things like, people going through in the middle of the night and tipping over flower pots. Turning over furniture,” said Hiatt. “There’s someone who goes around and anybody that’s got an outside faucet they turn on the faucet, and leave it running all night. It always makes you feel violated.”
Now, she says the new Historic Old Town Association is considering hiring private security.
“Some of it is going to be encouraging people who are disruptive coming to Old Town, encouraging them to leave,” Hiatt said.
She says the goal is to make it a place that’s welcoming to everyone. She says recent vacancy rates prove they’re on the right track.
“We had our first time ever, one month with no ‘for rent’ signs in Old Town, whatsoever. It was fantastic,” said Hiatt. “It’s like Old Town is a cool place to be again.”
The city is aware of the statue that got knocked down. They say they are working to get a crane company out there to remove it and assess it for damage before they decide what to do next.