Report: Harvey Updyke charity event cancelled after death threats

Friday August 22nd, 2014

A charity event in Mobile, Ala., involving the Alabama fan who poised the oak trees at Auburn's Toomer's Corner has been called off after organizers received death threats, according to a report from's Mark Schlabach.

Harvey Updyke had agreed to sit in a dunk tank, with fans also allowed to toss pies at his face.

Dee Bonner, the mother of former Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron and an organizer, received death threats on social media, and Auburn University police said a student was questioned by city police about a threat made against an organizer.

The event was designed to benefit the family of a child who recently died from cancer.

"I think Mr. Updyke's heart was in the right place with what he wanted to do, but I think too many people are still upset about what he did and haven't gotten over it," Bonner said. "I didn't approve of what he did, but I think he really wanted to help."

Updyke served 76 days in jail following a guilty plea in March 2013 to one count of unlawful damage of an animal or crop facility. In June 2012, Updyke confessed to poisoning the beloved, 130-year-old trees.

- Chris Johnson

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