By Adam Strunk
Vandals destroyed a decorative statue in front of the Kiko’s restaurant at 1728 N. Main Street.
The statue of a resting man in a sombrero may have only been worth $100, according to the report taken be the Newton Police, but it had sentimental value.
“Grandpa Kiko helped paint this statue,” Carlos Fernandez, Kiko’s owner, wrote in a statement. “He once painted it as a mural in his very first restaurant. He said, “This resting Mexicano reminds me of what I never want to be, LAZY! So I work hard every day and earn my place in this world!”
Kiko refers to Fransisco Rizo, who passed away at the end of 2020. Rizo founded Chico’s restaurant in Wichita and his family has went on to open various restaurants in the region, with Kiko’s tracing its lineage back to Rizo.
Newton Police Chief Scott Powell said they are awaiting camera footage for a possible lead to identify who destroyed the statue.
“Clearly, someone decided they did not care how precious this statue was to us or our family history,” Fernandez stated. “We thought it was precious enough for us to share it with our wonderful customers displayed in front of our shop…I know we have a lot of loyal customers and people who care about us, just that small 1 percent that makes it bad for everyone.”