SEATTLE — An artist from western Washington is speaking out, frustrated after his 14-foot tall bunny sculpture in Florida, valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars, was rammed into by a car.
Caught on camera, a car ramming into Hunt Slonem's latest piece of work.
"Very hurtful to me as an artist and it's kind of sad that brings joy to people is damaged, with this mindset," said Slonem.
The artist grew up in Bremerton and has a studio in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood, where he creates his iconic bunny sculptures. Like the 14-foot tall, 800-pound "Thunder Bunny" that features 30,000 hand-cut pieces of glass on it.
The sculpture is valued at $300,000 and was just installed in Wilton Manors, a city just north of Fort Lauderdale, Florida on May 11th. But just 10 days after its installation, a driver purposely drove into it.
"I can't imagine the mindset that would lead up to it,” said Slonem. “Perhaps he thought he would topple it. As a tribute to its installation, it's still standing, but it's severely damaged."
The Wilton Manors Police Department arrested and charged the driver with three counts of felony criminal mischief. According to police, the driver admitted to vandalizing a park sign and another sculpture in the city earlier this month.
Police said the driver told them he committed these crimes due to his frustrations with the city's previous mayor and that there were no hate or biased motivations.
"It doesn't in any way deter me in any way to make more public art, this is such a random thing,” said Slonem. “I'm totally excited about the installation in the first place."