A man has been arrested and charged with felony vandalism for allegedly pulling the face mask off a Joe Montana statue outside Levi’s Stadium on Monday.
Santa Clara police announced in a statement Wednesday that Jorge Alberto Lopez faces the charge for vandalizing the statue, which is part of a two-statue display that memorializes “The Catch” — when Montana threw a touchdown to a leaping Dwight Clark in the NFC Championship Game on Jan. 10, 1982. The 350-pound statues of Montana and Clark are exactly 23 yards apart, the same distance as Montana’s throw to Clark in the San Francisco 49ers’ victory against the Dallas Cowboys.
After the Seattle Seahawks defeated the 49ers 27-24 in overtime on Monday night, a security guard witnessed the 37-year-old Lopez grab onto the face mask and pull it off the statue, police said. Stadium personnel detained Lopez until he was arrested by Santa Clara police at 9:50 p.m. local time, according to an arrest log.
The 49ers’ director of corporate communications, Roger Hacker, told the San Francisco Chronicle that repair work has already begun on the Montana statue and is expected to be completed before Sunday’s home game against the Arizona Cardinals.