Boots on Broadway take a beating |

Boots on Broadway take a beating

Pam Boyd/EnterpriseEagle police Officer Gary Ward examines a damaged Broadway boot with artist Lana Caldarola.

EAGLE ” Lana Caldarola’s contribution to the Boots on Broadway literally has her sweat and blood ingrained in it. After last weekend, it also has her tears.

During the early morning hours on Sunday ” between 2 and 2:40 a.m. ” her boot in the downtown Eagle display was vandalized. Seven of the 12 boots were toppled, causing serious damage to several. Additionally, stop signs were yanked out of the ground, garbage cans were knocked over and the letters on the Eagle Pharmacy sign were rearranged.

“I’m really upset about this,” Caldorola said. “I think it’s a travesty for Broadway.”

Eagle Police Chief Rodger McLaughlin said felony charges could result.

“This was a mean-spirited thing to do. Someone went out of their way to cause some damage that would affect a lot of people,” said McLaughlin. “There are a number of people disgusted about this. I share their feelings.”

Caldorola has her own opinion on possible punishment for the people responsible for the boot damage.

“I want who did this to do community service, sweep up the street so everyone sees who they are,” she said.

An Eagle police officer was patrolling the area around 2 a.m. ” bar-closing time ” but did not see any problems. The officer was then called away, and the vandalism report was received about 2:40 a.m., McLaughlin said.

A witness reported seeing a white male wearing a white T-shirt fleeing the area, but McLaughlin said he has no solid leads or suspects. He urged anyone with information about the crime to contact police.

Some area residents have discussed offering a reward for anyone who comes forward with information leading to an arrest. In the meantime, dispirited artists are taking inventory of the damage and making repair plans.

Caldorola estimates she spent about 200 hours working on her mosaic boot with help from some neighborhood kids. At one point, she had to catch the boot before it toppled to the ground and sliced open her hand, which required six stitches.

“I have this huge scar on my hand, which for an artist, is a big deal,” she said.

She hopes last week’s vandalism will inspire more people to keep an eye out for the boots, and generate additional police patrols. “They’ve done displays like this in New York and Chicago. Everyone else can do it, why can’t Eagle?” she said.

The boots will remain on display through July 31, and then will be auctioned for charity at the Eagle County Fair and Rodeo on Aug. 3. The bidding for each boot will start at $2,000.

The artists and sponsors have decided to donate 10 percent of the proceeds from each boot back to the artists, and the rest of the money will be donated to an Eagle Valley High School scholarship fund, The Shaw Cancer Center, and The Vail Valley Charitable Fund. The proceeds from Eagle Valley high student Claire Thompson’s boot will go back to the school.

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