Police track the man down but don't arrest him. Stone is removed.
New York Times does an article about him, does an interview with a man "who declined to give his name" (though the police gave a name, Brian A. Whiteley).
He's quoted saying that he was "trying to remind Donald what type of legacy he’s leaving behind. And also leaving the date of the death open, alluding to the fact that there’s still time to change who he is."
That last part is, I take it, an effort to deflect any opprobrium that might attach if the tombstone is perceived as a wish to see Donald Trump dead or, worse, a threat to his life. Ironically — and hipsters love irony — the allusion to the fact there’s still time to change who he is is the "or else" that puts it in the form of a threat.
I don't think it's a "true threat" in the sense of First Amendment doctrine and I think the speech is fully protected under American law, but I can't believe New York law doesn't make it a crime to leave an unattended 420-pound object in Central Park. Let's imagine an equivalent stunt/art project aimed at Hillary Clinton. Why shouldn't political campaigns of all sorts take up the practice of setting up monuments in Central Park and sparking Instagram virality?
Earlier this morning I linked to a (possibly insanely lame) NYT column titled "Three Ways to Think About ‘Is It Worth It?’" in which the author spelled out his cogitation over whether to buy a $5,000 bike. $5,000 seems to be about the cost of getting a tombstone made and transported to Central Park. Is it worth it? According to the "Three Ways" column, it's a personal decision based on cost, enjoyment, and utility. If there's no legal consequence, I'd say it would be worth it to enough people to keep the Sheep Meadow looking like a graveyard.
IN THE COMMENTS: Laslo Spatula said...
He tried to get it written on a cake but the baker refused him.
Because bakers can do that.