Police look to identify Peace Bridge vandal

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A person smashed round 70 of the glass panels that line the Peace Bridge early Sunday morning

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Calgary police have launched images of the person suspected of ravaging town’s iconic Peace Bridge early Sunday morning in hopes of figuring out him.

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Police say the suspect entered the bridge from the south at Eau Claire Park round 4 a.m. Sunday, smashing about 70 of the bridge’s glass panels with bricks, a hammer and probably a chunk of rebar. They are saying he was final seen heading into an alleyway at 1st Avenue N.W. and 2nd Avenue N.W., and police imagine he was strolling close to the realm of eighth Road N.W. and ninth Road N.W.

“We all know the Peace Bridge is an iconic artwork construction in our metropolis, and we all know Calgarians are upset by the vandalism and injury precipitated to one thing that’s meant to be loved by everybody,” mentioned performing employees sergeant Liana Deegan.

“We’re at the moment investigating this incident and are asking anybody with data, or who can determine the suspect to come back ahead.”

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Police described the person as round 50 to 60 years previous, with a full mustache, 5’6″ to five’9″ tall, with a slim construct, weighing roughly 150 kilos. He was final seen sporting a dark-coloured baseball cap with a white emblem, blue sweater with white or reflective stripes on the shoulders and denims.

Police imagine the identical man is accountable for one other early-morning assault on the bridge on June 18.

Cyclists and pedestrians look at damage to the Peace Bridge near downtown Calgary on Sunday, July 24, 2022. Multiple panels have been shattered, causing thousands of dollars of damage.
Cyclists and pedestrians take a look at injury to the Peace Bridge close to downtown Calgary on Sunday, July 24, 2022. A number of panels have been shattered, inflicting 1000’s of {dollars} of harm. Jim Wells/Postmedia

Regardless of the injury, a number of Calgarians and guests could possibly be seen taking images and admiring the bridge Monday afternoon, although some stopped to take a more in-depth take a look at the destruction.

Ruan Piennar mentioned he and his spouse Simone Wentzel have come to the bridge fairly continuously since emigrating to Calgary from South Africa in 2019. On Monday afternoon, he introduced his dad and mom, visiting from South Africa, to see the staple piece of Calgary structure solely to search out shattered glass and building cones.

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“(Town is) going to cease spending cash on artworks, and something that’s essential,” mentioned Piennar. “Ultimately, every little thing’s going to be made out of metal as a result of that’s the one factor that you simply can’t vandalize.

“Simply handle town; you by no means know what you’ve gotten till you lose it.”

Damage is shown at the Peace Bridge near downtown Calgary on Sunday, July 24, 2022. Multiple panels have been shattered, causing thousands of dollars of damage.
Injury is proven on the Peace Bridge close to downtown Calgary on Sunday, July 24, 2022. A number of panels have been shattered, inflicting 1000’s of {dollars} of harm. Jim Wells/Postmedia

Town’s bridge upkeep supervisor, Charmaine Buhler, mentioned the injury is extra extreme than any vandalism incident on the bridge up to now. She mentioned town is investigating a number of restore choices, which is able to doubtless carry a hefty price ticket.

“We’ve constantly skilled vandalism on the Peace Bridge, simply to not this extent,” she mentioned. “It prices roughly $12,000 per panel to switch.”

In accordance with town, a mean of six panels must be changed yearly as a result of injury, costing town in extra of $500,000 because the bridge was completed in 2012. That value was mitigated barely, as town had been utilizing spare panels it had available following the bridge’s building and others it purchased in bulk to switch broken panels, however Buhler mentioned it doesn’t have sufficient to restore the latest injury in its present inventory.

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Earlier this yr, town employed a advisor to look into different supplies that may be much less liable to vandalism. These findings are anticipated to be revealed in a report back to council someday this fall.

Simply final month, town lined the bridge with a sequence of battered work as a part of a marketing campaign to dissuade would-be vandals and encourage residents to name 911 in the event that they noticed ongoing vandalism. On the time, they mentioned vandalism was on the rise within the iconic construction, largely brought on by folks throwing rocks from the riverbed.

Damage at the Peace Bridge near downtown Calgary on Sunday, July 24, 2022. Multiple panels have been shattered, causing thousands of dollars of damage.
Injury on the Peace Bridge close to downtown Calgary on Sunday, July 24, 2022. A number of panels have been shattered, inflicting 1000’s of {dollars} of harm. Jim Wells/Postmedia

Buhler mentioned she doesn’t imagine the latest act was an antagonistic impact of that marketing campaign; nonetheless, she does suppose it performed an element within the fast police response.

“We imagine that due to that messaging, CPS was referred to as instantly and this was reported instantly,” she mentioned.

Police have safety digital camera footage and video from witnesses of the incident and the investigation stays ongoing.

At the moment, there isn’t any timeline for the bridge’s restore nor an estimate on the entire value of the injury. Within the meantime, the walkways on either side of the bridge are closed to maintain folks away from the damaged panels, and cyclists should dismount when crossing to share the central pathway with pedestrians.

mrodriguez@postmedia.com

Twitter: @michaelrdrguez

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