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2 Teens Charged in Vandalizing of UCLA Bear Statue During Rivalry Week

Two teenagers have been charged with causing more than $10,000 in damages to UCLA’s bruin bear statue Thursday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

Louie Raider Torres, 19, of Studio City and Willie Saul Johnson, 18, of Van Nuys are each facing one felony count of vandalism over $400 damage, the news release said.

The popular statue was vandalized during “rivalry week” on Nov. 13, four days ahead of the annual football match between the UCLA and USC.

Torres and Johnson allegedly forced open the wooden case that contained the Bruin Bear, painted it with red and yellow paint, and wrote “SC” on the statue’s mantel, prosecutors said.

The defendants did not have any apparent connection with either school, according to the UCLA Police Department.

Torres and Johnson were arrested on Dec. 19, a month after the incident.

If convicted, both defendants face a possible maximum sentence of three years in jail, according to the DA’s office.

The case is under investigation by the UCLA Police Department.

A Daily Bruin article said that UCLA began placing barriers around the statue on the Westwood campus during rivalry week in 2010, after it was similarly defaced the previous year.

Torres and Johnson are scheduled to be arraigned Thursday at the Los Angeles County Superior Court, according to the news release.

 

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