Naples, Florida: He’s best known for his catchphrase, “Let’s go to the videotape!” We’re talking about legendary sportscaster Warner Wolf. The veteran journalist is likely talking to a lawyer now. Wolf turned himself into Naples police on Thursday.
The offense? Allegedly tearing the word, “Plantation” off the front sign at his gated community there called “Classics Plantation Estates.”
Apparently the former New Yorker, 81, found the word “plantation,” offensive and wanted it removed from the signage.
According to a police report from the Collier County Sheriff’s Office obtained by the Miami Herald, a CCSO deputy responded to a call on Dec. 15 about a defaced sign at the entrance to Classics Plantation Estates, where homes go from around $749,000 to $1.4 million, according to its website.
“The damaged sign was in a water fountain at 7901 Classics Drive directly in front of a vehicle gate,” read the report. “The individual letters spelling ‘Plantation’ appeared to have been intentionally broken off of both sides of the sign.”
Surveillance video from the gate was obtained from that November day that showed a male individual removing the letters with some sort of tool, said the report, which adds that a witness was present while Wolf was allegedly tampering with the sign. Later the witness identified the sportscasting icon as the person in the video to officers.
Wolf had been complaining about the name (also a city in Broward County) to his homeowners association, but no action was taken. The report says HOA president Kevin McDonald told investigators that Wolf had been a “vocal critic” of the wording for many months and had brought it up at various meetings. The word, which means a large farm, evokes images of slavery to some people.
After a brief investigation which included interviewing the witness and reviewing the surveillance footage, the sheriff’s office found probable cause that Wolf had violated Florida statute 806.13 1B3 and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
After turning himself in to the Naples Jail Center, Wolf was booked on a charge of criminal mischief resulting in damages of more than $1,000, a felony. He was released on $5,000 bond.
The Kentucky native has not made an official statement on the matter, adds the sheriff’s office.
Wolf previously worked for ABC sports on Monday Night Baseball and covered the Olympics.
He later worked as a local sportscaster with WABC-TV in New York and WCBS-TV.
He is also the author of the books Let’s Go to the Videotape, named after his infamous phrase, and Give Me a Break.