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Woman charged in ELC duck vandalism

A 63-year-old Red Wing woman was officially charged this month with criminal damage to property for the September vandalism of the Environmental Learning Center's large concrete duck.

Wendy Lee Stumpf, 427 E. Seventh St., was booked into Goodhue County Jail Oct. 14 on charges of third-degree damage to property with bias, fourth-degree intentional damage to property and disorderly conduct.

According to a court complaint filed Oct. 2, the duck -- which the ELC uses for fundraising -- was parked in front of a residence in the 400 block of East Seventh Street Sept. 3.

Two individuals reported that at about 11 p.m. they had seen Stumpf, whom they could identify because she is their neighbor, standing next to the duck and writing things on the duck's chest and tail.

After investigating, officers discovered the anti-gay statements, including "No Fagots," "GOD said to multiply" and "PFLAG No Vote NO NO" spray painted in black on the duck.

When officers questioned Stumpf at her residence that night, she stated that she had been in her house all evening. She told officers that the duck was parked at her neighbor's residence "for that PFLAG or something."

Stumpf added that she "(has her) opinions" about gays and lesbians, but denied damaging the duck.

"It wasn't me," she said. "It must have been someone who looked like me."

When investigators questioned her by phone Sept. 6, Stumpf stated that she "certainly" regrets what she had done and added that she doesn't hate anybody and was willing to "do whatever it takes to take care of what she did," the complaint says. The ELC said total repairs cost $251.61.

At the time it was vandalized, the duck was being rented by a gay resident using it to draw attention to "Vote No" buttons and T-shirts he was selling regarding the upcoming marriage amendment vote, the complaint says.

Stumpf was released from jail for court. Her first appearance will be Thursday.

Sarah Gorvin
Sarah Gorvin has been with the Republican Eagle for two years and covers education, business and crime and courts. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2010 with a  journalism degree.