MARION, Ind.—It turns out that the city’s beheaded statue of Garfield the cat wasn’t built quite right. But that isn’t getting the man who broke it off the hook.
The fiberglass head of the cartoon cat was missing for three days in December before it was found along the side of a country road near the Mississinewa Reservoir.
City Parks and Recreation Director Belinda Hussong said Thursday that flaws were found in the statue as Garfield creator Jim Davis’ company, Paws Inc., was getting it repaired.
“They had talked to the company that had constructed the Garfield and realized that the head wasn’t reinforced the way it was supposed to have been,” she said. “It was built well, but it was not reinforced like it was supposed to have been at that stress point.”
Prosecutors told a judge about the problem Thursday before Joseph Savarino, 23, Wabash, was given a 90-day suspended sentence and ordered to perform 40 hours of community service and pay $200 in restitution.
Savarino pleaded guilty last month to misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief and criminal conversion, saying he panicked after the statue’s head came off when he hugged it.
“I’m very sorry that I did it,” he said during Thursday’s hearing. “It was not on purpose.”
Davis, the cartoonist, grew up on a farm near the city halfway between Indianapolis and Fort Wayne.