Minions up in flames in Wapello, despicable act

WAPELLO, Iowa-- Just try looking at this waving minion hay bale without smiling. About a dozen were added to the streets of downtown Wapello in an effort to bring a little cheer and chatter into town.

"It was just really fun to drive downtown and see the minions, and it put a smile on everybody's face," says owner of Kelly Jo's Salon, Kelly Jo Garrison.

But if you look around, there's only one minion left.

"I've never heard of burning minions, and hopefully that's the last time I hear of burning minions," says owner of Freeman Total Fitness, Corey Freeman.

Wapello police say one of the minions was set on fire in late October. Another was set ablaze late last Tuesday.

"Unfortunately we have these hooligans who come out of nowhere and want to do things like lighting a minion on fire," says Freeman.

To prevent any further damage, the rest of the minions were removed, except one.

Locals say one silly act ruined a great thing for the town.

"Yeah, it's just too bad that people messed with them and it kind of ruined the fun look that Wapello had when you came downtown," says Wapello resident Joe Brown.

Police reports say one Wapello man was arrested early last Tuesday before the second was lit on fire. He is being charged with second-degree arson, a class C felony, and third-degree criminal mischief in connection to the fire set in late October. That fire destroyed a minion and damaged a light pole.