HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A beloved landmark in Hamden was found to be destroyed by vandals who used a chainsaw on Wednesday, July 17th and now, the individual responsible has been arrested.

63-year-old Curtis Pardee was arrested and charged with criminal mischief to the 3rd degree and criminal trespassing to the 3rd degree.

The iconic 200-year-old Mt. Carmel landmark, known as “The Door Tree”, a white oak, was a phenomenon of one tree growing in to another, creating a doorway-like arch.

It was located in a remote valley about 50-feet off New Road near Clark’s Pond.

Hamden Police, in partnership with the Regional Water Authority (RWA) which owns the land where the tree was located, arrested the person who cut it down within 48 hours of the vandalism.

“The RWA Police Department is appreciative of the support we received from the Town of Hamden, the Hamden Police Department, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Quinnipiac University’s Department of Public Safety, and of course our team at the RWA who jumped into action to provide the information we needed to solve this crime. In particular, I want to thank Officer Celeste Robitaille, the newest member of our department, for taking the lead on collecting evidence, analyzing findings and chasing down leads. This investigation was a collaborative effort, but Celeste’s work led us to this point and is the primary reason we were able to identify the person responsible.”

– Paul Ruggiero, Captain of the RWA Police Department.


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