Locals rally to rehab the Mammoth Fun Shop’s latest, most reliable employee
Mammoth has a way of rallying around locals who have fallen on unfortunate circumstances—even if those locals happen to be made out of fiberglass.
When Mammoth Fun Shop owner Camille Miller arrived at her business on the morning of July 7, she noticed that the 6-foot-tall Bigfoot statue that’s been greeting customers for the last month or so was “listing.”
Turns out, Bigfoot had been pummeled the night before, by a couple of men out on the town. And Miller had it all on video. Three men were walking southbound on the frontage road next to her shop, said Miller, just before midnight on Thursday, July 6. One of the trio “went up to Bigfoot and shoved him a little, assessing whether or not he’d come off his feet…His companion decided he would give it a stronger go. So the second guy did kind of a football rush twice, and succeeded in ripping his feet out of the ground, while friend number one filmed it on his phone. Friend number three stayed out of it.”
Bigfoot, Miller said, has steel plates in his feet that connect to a concrete foundation which is covered up by dirt in front of the Fun Shop.
“His repair bill is going to be probably the cost of purchasing him,” said Miller, who declined to state how much he cost. “It was pretty involved, 10-12 hours with my husband digging up the concrete, driving him to the welder’s, the fiberglass repair man…we’re up to the felony level and beyond [$400 or more in property damage].”
The Millers hired welder Todd Unangst to repair the steel, and Unangst’s colleague Dave to fix up the fiberglass.
Mammoth Lakes Police Department was quick to serve justice for Bigfoot. “Officers recognized the suspects from the video and were able to locate James Hoodman,” wrote Hannah DeGoey, Executive Assistant to the Chief of Police, in an email to The Sheet. “Hoodman confessed when questioned regarding the damage to Bigfoot. Hoodman also had a no bail warrant for being a Parolee at Large and was subsequently arrested.”
Miller said that the MLPD were “amazing” in their response to the report of the crime. “They’ve always been incredibly responsive to our needs as business people, and I’ve always been impressed with the high level of work they’ve given to our community.” She said that the type of people who think it’s funny to vandalize a statue “are the same kind of people who are typically doing other bad things in town, so I just felt…as a business owner that I was willing to take this on as a business expense. In the interest of keeping the peace, I wanted to make sure these guys weren’t doing these kind of things to other people.”