Suspected Vang Pao vandal caught

Chico police arrest man who allegedly kicked Vang Pao statue

A man accused of kicking Chico’s statue of Gen. Vang Pao on camera last month has been charged with felony vandalism.

Luis Rojas Jr. (pictured) was arrested last week (April 26) by the Chico Police Department Target Team, according to a CPD press release. Police publicly shared video recorded by city security cameras on March 19 that showed a man kicking the statue and riding away on a red bicycle. A citizen recognized the bike from the video and identified Rojas—who police believe is the man in the video—as its owner. The crime is a felony because damage is estimated at more than $400.

Gen. Vang Pao is revered in the Hmong community, and the Butte County Hmong Association raised $40,000 to install the statue in 2012. It was previously vandalized in 2014 and repaired.