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Suspect in Hatched Baby vandalism gets diversion agreement

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One of the three people accused of stealing the Hatched Baby artwork outside La Crosse City Hall may get charges dropped, if he stays out of trouble for a year. 

Matthew Reich reached a diversion agreement in court on Monday, pleading no contest to receiving or concealing stolen property. 

La Crosse Police believe the three suspects took the Blue face of the 9-foot tall artwork from the south lawn of City Hall last fall, and wrecked tore the face off the head.  It was found the next day in someone’s yard on Kings Street, where police retrieved it.

Wolfgang Auer, the German artist who loaned Hatched Baby to the city, says the artwork cannot be repaired, and he has sought restitution in the case.  The city told WIZM back in November the piece was valued around $23,000.

The artwork was placed on display in La Crosse in April of 2018.  Before that, it had been displayed outside a museum in the Cincinnati area for a year.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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