In response to the article in the Feb. 12 issue of the Town Crier about the destruction of artists Fariad and Jennifer Ali’s deer sculpture the night of Feb. 6, Rob Rutherford, 56, of Idyllwild, whom the California Highway Patrol arrested that night, called the paper last week.
The deer was next to Harmony Monument and was part of the Art Alliance of Idyllwild’s public art display. Twenty-two deer, painted by local artists, were displayed throughout the Hill. One was stolen a year ago and the second destroyed that night in February.
Rutherford characterized the story that attributed the deer’s demise to him as “bogus.”
“It was not my car,” he said. “I saw the deer and I stopped to look at it. I was perplexed at what it was and where it came from. The deer was in the parking lot and I couldn’t figure out where it came from.”
Rutherford also said he has contacted AAI and offered to fix the damage as a “goodwill gesture.”
However, Lesly Martin of AAI is unaware of any overture from Rutherford to the organization or its board.
“I handle the phone calls and see all the emails that are received at AAI’s official email address and toll-free telephone number, and I have not seen or heard any communication from him or his representative,” she wrote in an email. “The damaged deer is beyond being repaired or fixed. ”
While Rutherford admitted CHP arrested him for a “DUI” that morning, he said he was in the shower when the officer came to the door of his room.
He stressed that it was not his car, although two CHP officers reported that the car that appeared to damage the deer is registered to Rutherford. He did not respond to this statement.