One person has been charged after multiple papier-mâché creations were vandalized around Union earlier this week.
Vincent E. Vitale, 27, Union, was charged in Franklin County Associate Circuit Court Thursday with one count each of felony stealing and property damage for his alleged involvement in the incident.
Police also have identified three other suspects, all male. The suspects, who have not been named, are a 16-year-old from Union, an 18-year-old from Leslie and a 22-year-old from Union.
The quartet is believed to be responsible for stealing or damaging nine of the 14 papier-mâché Noggins that recently were set up around Union.
A video and images of the vandalism was posted onto social media accounts by the suspects.
Artzy Wallz Etc. launched the inaugural Noggin Fest at the start of October to raise funds for ABiLITY. The Noggins are heads made of papier-mâché and have been created by ABiLITY clients and local artists at Artzy Wallz.
ABiLITY is a nonprofit charitable organization providing services and support for people with developmental disabilities.
Some of the heads are attached to bodies to create mannequins.
The idea was to place the Noggins around town at various businesses and landmarks. A scavenger hunt was planned for later in the month.
Artzy Wallz co-owner Eileen Wade said the proceeds from the rentals and scavenger hunt would be donated to ABiLITY.
The plans for the scavenger hunt were put on pause after several Noggins and bodies were vandalized. Heads were removed, damaged, destroyed and stolen.
“The characters were set up all over town,” Wade wrote on Facebook. “They took heads, bodies, bashed in heads — we are extremely saddened.”
Wade originally said the plug was being pulled on the scavenger hunt, but reconsidered. Despite the vandalism, Wade said the Noggin Fest event will go on as planned.
“After assessing our leftover body parts, heads, supplies, etc., we feel we can rebuild all the damaged ones and relocate them to where they will be stored inside at night,” Wade wrote on Facebook. “We will continue our efforts with fundraising by hosting our originally scheduled scavenger hunt.”
The scavenger hunt will be Saturday, Oct. 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The hunt will start at Artzy Wallz.
Wade got the idea for Noggin Fest after seeing the city of Eureka’s scarecrow festival. She thought the Noggins could become an annual tradition in the city.
While the Noggins are being rebuilt, Union police are continuing the investigation into the vandalism.
Union police said the vandalism occurred Monday and Tuesday nights.
There was video posted on social media that was turned over to the police. Police posted the video of the vandalism on their Facebook page but it since has been removed.
Union Police Chief Norm Brune said anyone with any further information regarding this incident, should contact officers at 636-583-3700.