Thursday, February 17 2011 6:39 PM EST2011-02-17 23:39:20 GMT
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After hearing word of the news, hundreds of Auburn fans ran to Toomer's Corner Wednesday evening with toilet paper to roll the corner.
Rolling the corner is a long-time tradition.
Fans wrote messages of "get well soon" on the paper before launching them into the branches of the old oaks. Others created a memorial with rolls of toilet paper.
Following news of Updykes arrest, a Facebook page call "Free Harvey Updyke" mysteriously appeared. It's intended purpose is not known.
Count on News Leader 9 to bring you the latest developments in this case.
Copyright 2011 WTVM. All rights reserved.
From City of Auburn Police Division
On Thursday, Feb. 17, at 1:26 a.m., the Auburn Police Division arrested Harvey A. Updyke Jr., age 62, of Dadeville, Ala., on a warrant charging him with Criminal Mischief 1st Degree.
His arrest stems from an investigation involving the application of herbicide to the oak trees located at Toomer's Corner in the downtown area. Updyke was transported to the Lee County Detention Center to await bond.
The Auburn Police Division is receiving assistance in the investigation from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshals Service, State of Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (Pesticide Management Section), Tallapoosa County Sheriff's Office, Dadeville Police Department and Auburn University.
From Auburn City Mayor
Mayor Bill Ham, Jr. made the following statement in response to the poisoning of the Historic Toomer's Oaks:
"On behalf of the citizens of Auburn, I am deeply saddened by the news that someone has poisoned the Toomer's Oaks. Over the years, these beautiful old trees have come to represent the Auburn tradition and spirit. While this unfortunate act affects our entire community, I encourage my fellow citizens to move forward in the Auburn spirit. I have the utmost confidence in our Police, and in the Auburn University experts fighting to keep these historic oak trees alive. Let's all wish them the best as they pursue their work".
From Jay Gogue, President, Auburn University
"We will take every step we can to save the Toomer's oaks, which have been the home of countless celebrations and a symbol of the Auburn spirit for generations of Auburn students, fans, alumni and the community."
"It is understandable to feel outrage in reaction to a malicious act of vandalism. However, we should live up to the example we set in becoming national champions and the beliefs expressed in our Auburn Creed. Individuals act alone, not on behalf of anyone or any place, and all universities are vulnerable to and condemn such reprehensible acts."
From Bobby Poundstone, President, Auburn Alumni Association
"Thousands of Auburn alumni have fond memories of rolling the trees at Toomer's Corner to celebrate sports victories, and the Auburn Alumni Association naturally supports the university in its efforts to safeguard the trees' health. These mighty oaks have been through a lot over the years. We're cheering for them."
"Whatever happens to the trees, our response to the situation as alumni will be a measure of our commitment to the Auburn Creed. As an organization, we will continue to act and react in a manner that befits the integrity of our alma mater, and we trust that all Auburn alumni will do the same. I am confident the Auburn family will rally in response to this senseless act in a positive and meaningful way and, as always, the Auburn spirit will endure."
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