Accused Drunk Driver Could Face 8 Years For Sculpture Damage (VIDEO)

By Jeff Neumeyer

June 21, 2013 Updated Jun 21, 2013 at 10:26 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) --- The man accused of trashing an expensive piece of Fort Wayne artwork is looking at an enhanced felony charge.

An outdoor steel sculpture positioned on the fringe of Freimann Square was knocked off its supports this past weekend.

Allen County prosecutors are not looking to give the suspect any breaks.

The accused drunk driver who police say hit the structure with his pickup truck early Sunday morning could get up to 8 years if convicted of a felony charge lodged against him.

23-year old Colton Adamonis faces four charges now, the most serious being institutional criminal mischief.

Prosecutors bumped it up, because the damage is estimated at $750,000 to the piece belonging to the Fort Wayne Museum of Art.

The museum is convinced the artwork can be repaired.

Director Charles Shepard says the sculptor out of New York, one of the most respected in the country, wants to be part of restoring what was crafted in the 1980's to honor Fort Wayne's status as a leader in the magnet wire industry.

Once it's repaired, plans are being made to guard against a similar episode.

" We thought this was very safe, obviously that's been proven wrong, so I think you're going to see us do something attractive that would have the same effect of some of the 9-11 efforts to protect buildings, so that you actually couldn't get a vehicle of any size toward that piece," said Shepard.

The idea of repairing the artwork has stirred up some strong feelings.

Shepard says some Facebook comments and media outlets have suggested the crumpled steel should be trashed, that it isn't worth the time and money to fix.

Shepard counters that no tax dollars were used to get the sculpture, and that it will be fixed entirely with private money, so he argues it is the museum’s call to make, not private citizens.

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