Artist to paint bigger, better Roberto Clemente mural in Azalea Park after vandals destroy original



ORLANDO, Fla. - Residents are demanding change at an Orange County park after an iconic mural of Pittsburgh Pirates legend Roberto Clemente was vandalized.

Channel 9 reported earlier this month that vandals targeted the mural, which was painted by a famed New York graffiti artist.

On Monday, WFTV's Nancy Alvarez learned about what's going to be done to bring the mural back and what the plans are to clean up the park.

Next month, the mural will be replaced and there are plans to make it bigger and better than it originally was.

It's just the beginning of changes that could be coming to the ballpark.

"Not a lot of people pay attention to the park anymore," said resident Jonathan Echevarria. "When I was little, everybody paid attention to it."

Like most who live near the park, Echevarria and his brother were saddened to discover someone painted over the Clemente mural, but some believe a turn for the better may come of it.

Earl Lugo is the former president of Azalea Park Little League and the man who helped make the mural happen.  He has since met with city, county and school district leaders to come up with a plan to improve the park.

"That the bathrooms are fixed, water fountains are running, grass is cut, dirt is looking fresh," said Lugo.

Orange County Public Schools allowed Azalea Park Little League use of the field and for more than 50 years, parents volunteered to do the maintenance, a model that's no longer working.

"A lot of parents are working two jobs or don't have time to come out and volunteer their services," said Lugo.

Lugo said a sad thing in their community is turning into positive change, and he hopes kids will learn from it.

"I feel Clemente had something to do with this," said Lugo. "We're getting the help we desperately need."

The Orlando Police Department said they're following several leads in the investigation, but no arrests have been made at this time.