A man allegedly attacked the “Charging Bull” sculpture near Wall Street with what is described as a metal banjo (yes, really) on Saturday afternoon. As you can see in the photo, the lower Manhattan sculpture was damaged, resulting in a hole and multiple scratches.
One witness told The New York Times on Sunday what is now my favorite quote about defacement of public art. “He just started whaling out, hitting the bull over the head. And every time he would bang it, he would say the same thing over and over,” witness Luis Cruz told the Times. (We’re of no relation, but I wish him well.)
The banjo-wielding man was cursing God and Donald Trump, according to the Times.
The alleged banjo-wielding man is Tevon Varlack, who was charged with criminal mischief and disorderly conduct. Varlack was ordered to “stay away from the landmarks in this city” by Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Althea Drysdale during his arraignment on Sunday, the New York Post reported. “Do not go back and visit the bull,” Drysdale said.
Varlack has offered no explanation for the banjo bull bashing, according to multiple media reports. Drysdale was released without bail and must be back on court on Oct. 16.
“Charging Bull” sculpture creator Arturo Di Modica told the Post that the damage is estimated between $10,000 to $15,000.