Arrested Harvey Updyke Is the Nut Behind the Toomer’s Corner Tree Poisoning

On Wednesday we passed along the disgusting story of an Alabama fan who went out of his way to poison 130-year-old oak trees in the Toomer’s Corner location of Auburn’s campus. We also shared audio of the fan’s phone call into the Paul Finebaum Radio Show where his response to a question about his actions being illegal was “You think I care? I really don’t. Roll damn Tide!”

Well now we will find out how serious the man was about his proclamation.

On Thursday morning, WTVM reported that a 62-year-old man from Dadesville, Alabama, Harvey Updyke, was arrested and charged with criminal mischief, as I first learned through SI Hot Clicks. Updyke is currently in jail on a $50,000 bond, and it’s worth noting that under Alabama law, criminal mischief is a class C felony punishable by 1 to 10 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines.

There are plenty of other interesting details that keep emerging. A person by the name of “Harvey Updyke” commented on this Cam Newton story that appeared on TMZ’s website in November saying “auburn cheating again burn auburn burn woo eagle LOL”

Later on Thursday, we learned that the court-appointed lawyer asked off the case because of a conflict of interest.

And of course Solid Verbal put together a Toomer’s Corner remix for the infamous ESPN “Roll Tide” commercial:

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Crazy Alabama Fan Poisoned 130-Year-Old Toomer’s Corner Trees on Auburn Campus

You want to know true hate in collegiate athletics? Look no further than the rivalry between Alabama and Auburn. The disgust between the schools was taken to a whole new level — or shall we say low — when it was revealed Wednesday that 130-year-old oak trees in the Toomer’s Corner area of Auburn’s campus were poisoned by an Alabama fan, as Andy Staples informed us.

Auburn first began investigating the soil in the area after a caller phoned into the Paul Finebaum Radio Show to gloat about his exploits (the same show a man having a heart attack called into last week). The tests finally came back and revealed that lethal amounts of an herbicide known as Spike 80DF were placed in the soil. According to a release, “The lowest amount detected was 0.78 parts per million, described by horticulture experts as a “very lethal dose.” The highest amount detected was 51 parts per million, or 65 times the lowest dose.”

That is just sickening. Are you really telling me that the only way Auburn can keep their trees safe is by losing to Bama in football?

University President Jay Gogue tried to place everything in context for the school’s supporters saying “It is understandable to feel outrage in reaction to a malicious act of vandalism. However, we should live up to the example we set in becoming national champions and the beliefs expressed in our Auburn Creed. Individuals act alone, not on behalf of anyone or any place, and all universities are vulnerable to and condemn such reprehensible acts.”

Now who really thinks Auburn won’t seek revenge? What’s next, demolishing campus buildings? Bulldozing statues? It doesn’t get much more disgusting than this.

Oh, and I think this story pretty much answers the question about which rivalry is the strongest in college sports. Apparently you’re not a rivalry until you’ve poisoned the shrubbery on the opposing school’s campus.

UPDATE: In this audio, you can hear the call from “Al from Dadesville” into the Finebaum Show as he brags about poisoning the trees. Asked if it’s illegal, he says “You think I care? I really don’t. Roll damn Tide!”