Story by Jennifer O’Connor
The top piece of the Sanford Memorial Fountain, a prominent monument on the Fountain Square at the intersection of Colonial Ave. and Main St. in the Village of Warwick, went missing on Sat., Sept. 23.
While on patrol around 1 a.m. on Saturday, Warwick Police Officer Chase Class noticed a man walking down Colonial Ave. carrying what appeared to be a large rock on his right shoulder. Officer Class stopped the man, identified as Darren Thomas Faul, 21, and realized that Faul was carrying the granite ball that sits at the top of the Sanford Memorial Fountain.
“Officer Class happened to be in the right place at the right time. However, his observation skills and the fact that he is a life-long Warwick resident contributed to him being able to piece together everything so quickly,” said Lt. John Rader.
Lt. Rader also stated that Faul was placed under arrest and charged with Petit Larceny and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property.
Mayor Newhard said that the Village will be accessing the monument to make sure there wasn’t further damage. Currently a metal rod that looks like a spike is sticking out of the top of the monument.
About the incident the Mayor stated, “He’s lucky that he was able to get it off safely and that he didn’t drop it or break it.”
The granite ball was taken by Police as evidence. After Faul’s appearance in Village Court, the Village hopes to soon have the monument repaired.
This is not the first time the historic monument has been damaged. In 2013, a car crashed into the monument causing it to break into pieces. Several months after the incident, the memorial was fully restored.
In the early 1900s, the monument served as a watering trough for horses. It was named in honor of George W. Sanford (1821-1900), who was a prominent member of the community. He was the director of the Warwick Valley Railroad and also served as Town Supervisor.