'Reading Bear' statue at Kissimmee school destroyed

FOX 35 News at 10 p.m.

- Kissimmee police detectives are asking for the public's help identifying two individuals who destroyed a bear statue in front of Kissimmee Elementary School.   Eight days ago, school staff  discovered that the "Reading Bear" statue had been smashed to pieces.

"This is more than just a bear statue for the kids," explained Principal David Noyes.  "It was a gift from an outgoing teacher who is retired so it's become like an icon here at the school."

Surveillance video obtained from the school shows two males near the bear statue at approximately 4 a.m. on the morning of Oct. 12.  In the video, the two appear to be taking "selfies" with the bear and then later are shown kicking the statue, police say.  The two also went into the physical education area where video shows them using the equipment.
"We really want the bear repaired. We did a small repair this summer, and it was about $300, so we know it's going to be very costly to repair it," Noyes added. 

These two individuals are considered suspects in this vandalism case.  They are described as white males, one possibly Hispanic with a bun on his head.  They appear to be in their late teens or early twenties.  The white male was wearing blue pants and a dark colored shirt.  The Hispanic male had green or tan shorts and a black shirt.  They both attempted to hide their faces with their t-shirts.

Anyone with information on these two suspects is urged to contact the Kissimmee Police Department's Property Crimes Unit at 407-846-3333.

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