Vandals attack beloved wood carvings in Sedro-Woolley

SEDRO-WOOLLEY, Wash. -- Vandals have attacked one of the public art pieces that attract visitors to the town of Sedro-Woolley.

Somebody pushed over the eagle carving Sunday night, breaking off its beak, and breaking the heart of the woman whose brings them here.

"This whole feathered side has been scarred because that's were he hit the pavement," said Jeanne McLennan. "I was upset; I started crying."

McLennan runs the community's annual Logger Rodeo Festival, where wood carvers from all over the country compete, then sell or donate their work.

And local artist Nyal Thomas is responsible for repairing the abuse vandals inflict on these cedar creations.

"It breaks our hearts when we work as hard as we do and somebody comes along just because they feel like it or push it down on the street," Thomas said.

The eagle sculpture isn't one Thomas carved, but he'll soon start making its replacement beak.

He's spent more than a decade fixing what police describe as an ongoing rash of vandalism that has cost the community tens-of-thousands of dollars.

"Sometimes the pieces are gone, like on time they took the whole head, so I had to carve a new head," Thomas said.

But something good happened this time -- a security camera on the clock tower recorded the crime, .and people have identified the suspect.

"There are witnesses that watched the person do it, thank goodness," Thomas said.

An arrest is imminent, and the town hopes it serves as a deterrent and will encourage everybody who lives and works in Sedro-Woolley to help protect the carvings.