Who knocked over Middletown’s beloved ‘red buffalo?’ Vandal still at large
MIDDLETOWN — For years, the red and brown buffalo known as "Buffy the Buffalo" was a welcome sight to many people who passed the home where it sat neatly on the front lawn. That changed just before the Fourth of July.
On July 3, vandals snapped one of the buffalo's legs and pushed it to the ground, leaving it face-down in the dirt. The owner of the Cherry Tree Farm Road home, an 88-year-old woman, said the statue reminded her of her late husband, who died in 2006 three days before their anniversary, according to an article by NJ Advance Media.
The article states that the resident's husband bought the buffalo for her as an anniversary gift but passed away before he was able to give it to her, so her son picked it up and helped her place it in the front yard.
Since the statue was vandalized, a "Buffalo of Middletown" Facebook page was created to provide the public with updates. On the page, the "buffalo" expressed its appreciation for the outpouring of concern and well-wishes.
"I do appreciate your overwhelming response to this act of vandalism. I would like to say 'Thank You' but this is also very overwhelming to me. I didn't realize that this many people cared about me," the "buffalo" said on the page.
Residents of the neighborhood and those familiar with the statue expressed sympathy and disappointment to the buffalo's owner via the Facebook page.
"I live a few houses away and my kids adore the buffalo, we were all very sad to see what had happened. Hope he is back on his feet soon," Donna, a neighbor, stated in a post.
Another neighbor, Helen Gagliardi, spoke directly to the buffalo, stating she hopes to see the statue back on its feet.
"Mr. Buffalo, we live down the street from you. We always admired how steadfast you are. You brought smiles to us every time we drove by. Loved it when you had the Christmas wreath around you for the holidays!! Don't you worry, you will be good as new!! We believe in Karma so whatever goes around goes around!! Can't wait to see you standing strong real soon," Gagliardi said in a comment on the page.
Several people on the Facebook page have even offered to help repair the buffalo, while others simply recall driving past the home and admiring the statue for years, but never knowing the story behind it.
Middletown Police are continuing to investigate the vandalism. There are no suspects but anyone who may have information is asked to contact the detective bureau at 732-615-2100.
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Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.