2 Men Arrested for Stealing Dragon Ice Sculpture Head
Man tells police he took it "because he wanted it."
The Salem Police arrested two Salem men early Sunday morning after they allegedly stole the head of the ice sculpture dragon on the Pedestrian Mall and disobeyed an officer who told them to put it back.
William B. Hare, 47, and Rajendra John Srivastava, 30, both of 34 Pleasant St., were charged with larceny of property over $250 and receiving stolen property over $250. Hare was also charged with disorderly conduct, illegal possession of a class B substance and two counts of illegal possession of a class E substance.
At 12:47 a.m. Sunday, Officer O'Leary reported the dragon head from the Salem's so Sweet ice sculpture on the pedestrian mall was missing even though she had seen it attached just 27 minutes prior.
O'Leary then discovered that the viking horns of the Salem State ice sculpture in Lappin Park were missing at 12:49 a.m.
Just five minutes later, the officer saw Hare and Srivastava on the Pedestrian Mall carrying a large chunk of ice.
As the men walked toward the officer, the man carrying the ice tried to hide behind the other man, police said. Hare told O'Leary they were walking home. When she told the men to stop, the officer saw the head of the dragon in Srivastava's possession.
When asked why he had the head, police said Srivastava "stated he was taking it home as a souvenir."
Hare told Srivastava to keep walking again, and the officer told him to "put the head on the sculpture; the head did not belong to him." Police said the officer again told Srivastava to put the head back, adding that the sculptures cost the businesses a lot of money.
Police said Srivastava "put the head down next to the body of the dragon."
During the encounter O'Leary reported that Hare "was rude, loud and very disrespectful."
Fifteen minutes later, police said the same officer was dispatched to Howard Street on a report two suspicious men were carrying a large chunk of ice. The officer saw the same men from the mall walking on Washington Sqaure North before turning down Oliver Street.
O'Leary stopped the men and Srivastava was carrying the head of the dragon once again.
"He was immediately hostile and started yelling at me that I couldn't stop him," the officer reported. "Hare was yelling that they were taking the head home and was trying to get Srivastava to continue walking."
The officer told the men to stop again and Hare started yelling in the officer's face, saying "he was a doctor and could do what he wanted," police said.
Other units were concerned for the officer's well-being and responded because they could hear yelling in the background on the radio.
Police asked Srivastava why he took the sculpture head again, and he said he went back and got it "because he wanted it," police said.
The men were arrested and the head of the sculpture was placed into evidence.
Police found a small plastic baggie with pills on Hare.