Dolphin Statue Outside Of Art Gallery Falls On, Kills 2-Year-Old Tourist In San Francisco

statueIt’s a scene from millions of family vacations: a 2-year-old boy climbs up a decorative object that he shouldn’t while waiting in front of the hotel. That’s what two-year-olds do. During one Utah family’s visit to San Francisco, this toddler mischief turned horrific when a statue fell on the boy. He seemed fine at first, but died of internal injuries at a local hospital.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that police had cited the art gallery in the past, along with other nearby merchants that kept large displays on the sidewalk. Here’s a Google Street View grab of the outside of the gallery, with the dolphin statue in the middle.


According to police, the boy climbed up the statue and wrapped his limbs around it, causing it to become unbalanced and fall off its pedestal. The statue tipped over and landed on top of the boy when both fell to the ground.

On the scene, paramedics treated the boy for a bloody nose, then transported him to the hospital. While in the emergency department, his condition worsened, and he was pronounced dead about four hours after the accident.

The police officer in charge of the case notes that the art gallery and other businesses had been cited in the past for keeping large displays and merchandise out on the sidewalk. “For a couple of years now, the merchants have been warned,” he told the Chronicle.

The gallery is in the Fisherman’s Wharf area, and most of the sidewalk is under the jurisdiction of the Port of San Francisco, meaning that merchants can’t put anything on the sidewalk in front of the line. Police didn’t say whether the statue was placed behind the line, but the gallery was cited for having displays on the sidewalk.

Boy, 2, killed by falling statue at Fisherman’s Wharf [San Francisco Chronicle]

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  1. Naskarrkid says:

    As sad as this is, where were the parents? I know if I did something like that, my parents would’ve been the ones that killed me.

    • MarthaGaill says:

      I know, I would have been smacked down for that.

      On the other hand, the statue really should have been secured if it was going to be outside like that. Kids are going to climb regardless.

      • furiousd says:

        I spent enough time running around or playing hide-and-seek when I got bored going shopping with my Mom that she got a velcro wrist leash for me. Thinking back on it now it was a simple and effective idea that kept me in line and likely saved her quite the recurring headache.

    • furiousd says:

      That’s the thing, it doesn’t sound like the type of situation that would have happened if the parents were appropriately vigilant. At my parent’s business where I worked growing up there would regularly be people who would drop their kids off or have them go there after school, effectively using us as a daycare. We neither advertised nor provided any such service and several times a year would have to detain some of them for damage, theft, or both (we never did anything about the loitering by itself if they were well-behaved). About 80% of the time when the parents arrived they would deny that their child had done any of what we were holding them for. Over the years it got so bad trying to let the parents have a talk with their kids that our policy changed to just calling the police when things happened.

      • Xenotaku says:

        When I worked at a Sanrio (aka Hello Kitty and friends) store in a mall, we were right next to Spencers (more of an adult store, for those unaware). Parents would try dropping their kids off and going into Spencers so much that we had a policy of no one under the age of 12 allowed in the store without parental supervision. When kids would come in alone, we’d have to make them stand at the front of the store until their parents came back, or send them to their parents if they were next door. Most of the parents weren’t happy about that.

  2. charmander says:

    How incredibly sad.

  3. EducationalGeek says:

    What’s sad is that the gallery will get sued. Parents, YOU are responsible for your kids. Either take care of them accordingly or don’t procreate.

    • charmander says:

      Someday karma’s gonna be a real fucking bitch to you. You definitely have it coming.

      • furiousd says:

        I don’t understand your point… are you saying that it’s not a good thing to expect people to take responsibility for their own actions? It’s nice that people go out of their way to help others, but they shouldn’t be legally liable to do so. The warning from the city was for having something on the public sidewalk, not for having something unsafe out where an unchaperoned kid could climb on it.

  4. limbo says:

    I was watching the same stupid thing the other day. A Legal Seafood restaurant has a decorative statue out front of a fish, and two little kids were climbing on and swinging from it. The mom was sitting nearby on her cell phone, not caring at all. Nevermind the safety issue, it’s not a kid’s playground! People baffle me, but none moreso than entitled parents.