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updated: 5/31/2011 10:10 PM

Third suspect in Batavia statue toppling turns self in

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  • "Self-Made Man," installed at State and River streets in Batavia, was created by Bobbie Carlyle. The bronze statue weighs about 750 pounds.

      "Self-Made Man," installed at State and River streets in Batavia, was created by Bobbie Carlyle. The bronze statue weighs about 750 pounds.
    Photo courtesy of Bobbie Carlyle

 
 

The third suspect in the toppling of a downtown Batavia statue turned himself in Tuesday morning, more than a month after the $35,000 statue was damaged.

Thomas Bittner, 43, of the 500 block of North Batavia Avenue turned himself in to Batavia police and appeared in court Tuesday morning to face a charge of criminal damage to state-supported property.

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Thomas Bittner; Theodore Bittner, also of the 500 block of North Batavia Avenue; and Steve Piron of the 800 block of Karen Road in Sandwich have all been charged after the April 24 toppling of an 8-foot, 750-pound bronze statue, police said.

The crime occurred sometime between midnight and 6 a.m., when the "Self-Made Man" statue was found lying on the sidewalk, pulled off its limestone base, at the corner of River and State Streets, police said.

Private donors paid $35,000 for the statue in the 1990s, which was created by a Colorado artist.

The charge the men face is a Class 3 felony punishable by up to five years in prison if convicted.

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