You might not know the name “Warner Wolf,” but you’ve definitely heard that little phrase he’s embedded into American culture. A noted television and radio sports broadcaster, he’s the guy whose catchphrase “Let’s go to the videotape!” eventually entered common parlance.
He’s also just been arrested.
According to The Naples News, Wolf, who lives in a gated community in Naples, Florida, turned himself in and was arrested on Thursday “after he broke letters off a sign at the entrance of the Classics Plantation Estates community in East Naples.” He has been charged with criminal mischief over $1,000 and released on $5,000 bond.
Wolf had been a vocal critic of the name “plantation” at board meetings with the Classics Plantation Estates Homeowners Association and had urged board members to remove the word, which has racist connotations, from the sign itself.
“He had his opinions about how it was a racist word and he didn’t feel that it should be in the name of community, although plenty of communities throughout Florida use that name,” property manger Ken Heff said.
Surveillance video from November 30 shows a man matching Wolf’s description removing the word “plantation” from the sign “with a tool.”
A witness told local authorities that he saw Wolf standing in a fountain around the sign and pulling the letters off on November 30. On December 13, according to the sheriff’s record, he drove up to the vehicle gate in a black Toyota SUV near the sign and gave the letters to a guard “with instructions to give the broken letters to the property manager.”
WARNER GOT HIS WAY --— Jeff Butera (@ABC7Jeff) February 8, 2019
Famous sportscaster Warner Wolf got arrested in Naples, accused of tearing down part of a neighborhood sign.
See the pic? Says Classics...Estates. Used to say Classics Plantation Estates.
But Wolf thinks "plantation" is racist. Cops say he tore it down. pic.twitter.com/XBMOWR6qpc
The sheriff’s report notes that police officers spoke to Wolf about the missing letters on January 7, but he refused to make a statement at the time.
Vandal or not, Wolf has a fair amount of support behind him, saying that he should be applauded for not wanting to, as one social media user put it, “be associated with a sign that longs for slave-owning.”
You got the headline wrong. It should be "Hero Warner Wolf Rips Racist Sign off of Property and is charged with "criminal" mischief for this noble an moral action." He didn't want to be associated with a sign that longs for slave-owning. Good for him! Still has fire at 81!— Long-Haired Achaean (@LongHairAchaean) February 8, 2019
FREE WARNER WOLF!— Tom the Dancing Bug (@RubenBolling) February 8, 2019
Good for him! https://t.co/dgo9Kr9ika
I did not know Warner Wolf was a real one!— eatwords drinkstars (@akamami) February 9, 2019
“81-year-old Wolf, who lives in the community, had been vocal about his dislike for the word "plantation" and his wishes to have the sign changed.”
Ya boy TOOK DOWN THE SIGN HIMSELF letter👏🏾by 👏🏾letter👏🏾.
How can you be mad at the guy?
I’m not trying to advocate for breaking the law but sometimes you just have to take shit into your own hands. can we get some love for this man here #warnerwolf— Alison 👁👁 (@Alibaby67) February 8, 2019
Legendary Sportscaster Warner Wolf Arrested for Defacing 'Plantation' Sign https://t.co/5FvRgdeCdz via @TMZ
We’ll see if the charges get dropped, but damn, Mr. Wolf. Just when we were getting used to stories about old fogies being terrible, you came along and warmed our hearts.