Police have arrested two St. John Fisher College football players for damaging a statue of Frederick Douglass during an attempted theft in Rochester.
Authorities charged 21-year-old Charles Milks, of Kenmore, and 20-year-old John Boedicker, of Endicott, with criminal mischief. Both appeared in court Monday morning and pleaded not guilty. Following their court appearance, Milks and Boedicker were suspended by the college indefinitely.
The 6-foot, 7-inch statue is one of 13 erected in the city in honor of the abolitionist’s 200th birthday, and it was located at the site of a seminary where Douglass’ eldest daughter briefly attended classes. A witness tells WHEC-TV a group of men tore the statue loose and ran down the street with it. The statue is now in police custody.
Organizers behind the statue installation say they hope to return the statue to its location within the week.