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Children caught on camera destroying Three Little Pigs display in Tampa

Storybook characters decorate Ulele restaurant
Posted at 5:50 PM, Dec 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-26 19:18:40-05

TAMPA — Two small children were caught on security cameras damaging a Three Little Pigs display outside a Tampa restaurant.

The restaurant owner, Richard Gonzmart, paid thousands to restore old storybook characters for children to enjoy.

The video shows two children rough-housing. One boy repeatedly kicks the pig figurine and shakes it. The boy walks away and a small girl comes over. She tugs on the pig until it falls to the ground.

"Brutally shaking them and shaking them and trying to tip over the pumpkin until one little girl pulled the pig over and she barely escaped," said Richard Gonzmart.

Gonzmart poured at least $100,000 into having local artist, Jason Hulfish, restore the storybook characters outside his restaurant, Ulele.

Gonzmart bought the characters from the now closed Fairyland at Lowry Park.

"The whole idea is that you bring your children and have the memories that I have of being with my parents, especially with my grandparents," said Gonzmart.

Gonzmart says he's saddened by the video. Adults are nearby, but no one reports the damage to restaurant staff.

"When I was a child, we were taught, if you broke something you fixed it. You paid to fix it," added Gonzmart.

Gonzmart says he does not want to press charges, but wants those children involved in the incident to learn a lesson about respect. The pig is made of fiberglass and it broke at its base.

"I just kind of think, where are the parents? What are they doing? Why aren't they correcting their kids on bad behavior?" said Tampa resident Chris Griffin.

Gonzmart wants children to treat the figurines with respect so other children can enjoy them.

"What makes me happy is when I see children here with their parents and the parents are reading the storybook and taking a photo," said Gonzmart.