Muskogee Castle Saves Christmas For Crime Victim

Tuesday, December 24th 2013, 5:45 pm
By: News On 6

A Tulsa man whose gift to the community was destroyed by vandals has received a gift of his own. We told you about Carl Neat a few weeks back.

He caught two teenagers on video wrecking his Christmas display in the middle of the night.

Back in November, Carl Neat showed us the $2,000 worth of damage to his Christmas display. All his inflatables were slashed, the lights cut. Ornaments were broken and thrown everywhere.

"I looked on the surveillance, and it revealed everything," said Carl Neat.

Neat showed us as two young men destroyed in minutes - what it took him weeks to set up.

Matt Hiller runs the Muskogee Castle. On any given day it has more than 2,500 holiday lawn ornaments on display: Santas, reindeer, snowmen - you name it.

"When I saw the story I knew that we could help him out," Hiller said.

"We've been vandalized out here before, and I know how bad it hurts - and we do this for the people," he said.

When he saw that Carl Neat shared his passion for making the season brighter for others, Hiller decided to brighten Neat's by giving him $500 worth of inventory.

11/30/2013 Related Story: Camera Catches Midtown Christmas Vandals In Act

"Everybody knows, they've got a Christmas ornament that means something to them that they put on their tree, and these yard ornaments mean a lot to him," said Matt Hiller, Muskogee Castle.

To say Neat was excited when he heard the news would be an understatement.

"He didn't know how much I jumped up and down in the house," he said.

The Castle's goal is to get people to slow down and take in the true meaning of Christmas, giving back and being with family.

"They done their part," Neat said. "Hopefully we can pass it on."

Neat is still hopeful someone will recognize the two kids in the video and call police because he says some of his ornaments were antiques that can't be replaced.

"The memories are always there, you can't lose a memory," Neat.

And thanks to a generous donation - he'll be doing what he loves - making holiday memories for the dozens of kids and church groups that swing by his home every year.

"It's been a great thing, it's like a Christmas come true," said Carl Neat, vandalism victim.