Outrage after vandals destroy Oregon coast icon

Police investigating pedestal rock vandalism

PACIFIC CITY, Ore. -- The Oregon State Police are investigating video of vandals who toppled the pedestal Rock last week at Cape Kiwanda.

Video distributed via social media over the weekend shows vandals toppling the iconic pedestal rock at Cape Kiwanda on Aug. 29.

Parks spokesman Chris Havel said the perpetrators could face civil fines up to $465. Whether they face criminal charges has not been determined.

"Hoping that they'll save everybody the trouble and see all the coverage and just come forward," Havel said.

David Kalas of Hillsboro shot the video.

Kalas told The Associated Press on Monday that he was with some friends making a drone video of their summer adventures on the Oregon coast when they went to the rock formation.

When they got the drone in the air, a group of eight people "came out of nowhere" and started pushing on the rock. Kalas says he started recording with his cellphone when it began wobbling.

"I didn't think anything would happen," Kalas said. "It's a big rock."

Five of the people stepped away, but when three others saw there was a crack, they pushed it over, Kalas said.

"We confronted them and they said it was a safety hazard,"

The pedestal, behind fences warning against trespassing onto the dangerous cape, had the been the subject of many photos, ranging from weddings to visiting teens and families.

The vandalism has gained nationwide attention. See  the 'Today' show report.

The pedestal was also known as "The Rock" and "The Duckbill," was on the outer edge of the sandstone bluff.  on the Oregon Coast. The bluff is considered very dangerous and has been the site of six deaths during the past two years.

More: Visitors continue to risk death at Cape Kiwanda

Despite the danger, countless people ducked through the fence to take pictures atop the pedestal. It was particularly well-known for engagement photographs and it was frequently featured on the social media website Instagram.

A similar episode in Utah caused an online uproar. Two Boy Scout leaders were sentenced to probation after recording themselves toppling an ancient rock formation at Goblin Valley State Park and posting it on YouTube.

Chris Havel, spokesman for the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, which manages the area and has attempted to discourage people from visiting the pedestal, said the collapse highlighted the unstable nature of Cape Kiwanda's geology.

"There's a good reason this area is fenced off," Havel said. "It might look safe, but this is exactly what sandstone does: It gives out, often without warning."

Havel said last week that there's no evidence it was struck down directly by people.

"The elements take the greatest toll by far, but when sandstone is close to giving way, a tiny bit of extra pressure from people will push it over the edge," Havel said. "There's no evidence that happened in this case, however."

No memorial is planned for the pedestal, but photographers and social media users everywhere will undoubtedly mourn its passing.

The death of The Rock has apparently inspired the hashtag #ripthatpnwrock on the social media website Instagram.
 

KGW


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