Save a horse; ride a gecko. At least, that’s what someone thought when they hopped on Gulfport’s giant gecko statue, rode it like a horse, and smacked the gecko on its rear end.
The incident took place shortly after 4 p.m. Mar. 6, but only when a Gulfport employee noticed the damage on St. Patrick’s Day morning did anyone realize G. Gordon McFly – that’s the gecko’s name – had been ridden like a horse.
When the rider giddy-offed the gecko, the man damaged the headphones G. Gordon McFly wears.
“We just found the vandalism,” Justin Shea, Gulfport’s Cultural Facilities Events Supervisor, told The Gabber. Erik Nelson, a public works employee, called the police, who then reviewed the Gulfport Casino’s video footage.
Police reportedly found the gecko-riding vandal earlier today (Mar. 17) when they spotted a boat other footage showed him boarding.
Shea says Gulfport city management discussed putting physical barriers around the 14-foot skateboarding gecko, but decided against it.
“We want that to be a photo opportunity for the city; putting bollards and chains around it would not be ideal,” Shea said. “We just advise people not to climb on the statue.”
Gulfport Police Commander Josh Stone said police likely wouldn’t make an arrest.
“The person did not do it with the intent to damage it, so criminal mischief wouldn’t be a thing and it is on public property so trespassing wouldn’t be a thing, either,” Stone said, adding “the hopping on the gecko is certainly not smart.”
Stone said Gulfport has no laws about climbing statues, gecko or otherwise.
“Common wisdom would lead you to believe people wouldn’t do it,” he said. “I wouldn’t do it. I mean, the adult in me wouldn’t do it, that’s for sure.”