Atlanta’s ‘Jurassic’ exhibit temporarily closes after being damaged by vandals

"Jurassic World: The Exhibition" was vandalized by four people, Atlanta police said Monday.



"Jurassic World: The Exhibition" was vandalized by four people, Atlanta police said Monday.

The Jurassic Park film franchise exhibition in Atlanta, which opened to the public Friday, will temporarily close after it was vandalized over Memorial Day weekend.

Authorities have arrested a 19-year-old man and suspect three others may have been involved in the burglary Sunday night at Pullman Yards, which caused “hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages” to “Jurassic World: The Exhibition,” according to Atlanta police.

On Tuesday, the event’s organizers released a statement saying it would need to temporarily close as staff addresses the damage.

“We understand how frustrating this is and are committed to ensuring that all affected reservation holders can rebook their sessions,” the statement read. “To aid in this process, we have sent an email with detailed instructions to existing reservation holders. We are excited to host everyone once the exhibition has reopened.”

Officers responded Monday to the Kirkwood event hall off DeKalb Avenue for a burglary call and spoke to the exhibition’s general manager, who said four people were seen in surveillance footage at around 9:30 p.m. Sunday. Police said they discovered that several exhibits inside the location were damaged.

According to an incident report, surveillance footage showed the suspect sitting on top of one of the dinosaurs while “ripping off the skin covering.”

“There were several other items damaged throughout the exhibit totaling over $250,000,” the report states. “The suspect stole four custom-made dinosaur shirts valued at $6,000 each.”

The next morning, at around 6:30 a.m., a security guard noticed someone trespassing at the outdoor bar area of a Fishmonger seafood restaurant on the property. The guard took a picture of the person, unaware of the damage done to the exhibition. Following an investigation, Acauan Carvalho Van Deusen was identified by police as the suspect accused of the vandalism.

Van Deusen was arrested and booked into the DeKalb County Jail on a burglary charge. Police have not publicly identified the other suspects and it’s unclear if they were together.

“It is unknown at this time when and where the other three subjects went,” the report added.

The 25,000-square-foot exhibition was described on its ticket page as an “immersive experience” that brings attendees face-to-face with animatronic dinosaurs. “Walk through the ‘Jurassic World’ iconic gates and prepare to be left in awe as the ground-breaking movie franchise is brought to life,” the page states.

It highlights moments and scenes going back three decades, including the six movies and the Netflix show “Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous.” The exhibition has traveled the world since 2016, hitting cities like London, San Diego, Denver, Dallas, Chicago, Philadelphia, Paris, Madrid and Seoul.

The publicist for the exhibition said they hope to reopen June 7.

An investigation into the vandalism is ongoing, police said.

— Staff writer Rodney Ho contributed to this article.