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Lego Man Released to Chalk Fest Founder

Ego Leonard was released from protective custody Thursday in Venice from the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office to Chalk Festival founder Denise Kowal.

Lego Man Ego Leonard is out of protective custody and in the hands of Sarasota Chalk Festival founder Denise Kowal.

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office released Ego to Kowal at the sheriff's office Venice station shortly before 4 p.m. in front of the meida, where Kowal appeared surprised to be receiving Ego.

The fiberglass sculpture was created by Dutch artist Leon Keer and , just days before the Sarasota Chalk Festival, which had a Lego theme in one of the exhibits.

Kowal said she was handed the papers today to claim Ego, and Ego is now legally hers. Jeff Hindman of Sarasota had originally claimed him, and

T, but at the end of the day, Ego belongs to Kowal.

"He has so many opportunities that I heard about to travel the world," she said. "He has people in LA who want to come visit him."

Kowal said that Ego will stay with her until they figure out where he would like to go.

"Hopefully he'll see a lot of kids around town," she said.

Kowal thanked the sheriff's office for the handling of Ego.

"Thank you to the sheriff's office for allowing him to take his walks and do everything he needed to do to keep those muscles strong," she said.

Wendy Rose, spokeswoman for the sheriff's office, said Ego has been interesting for her community affairs department. Relentless media calls from around the world for three days straight, then an uptick in attention December when he appeared on Time's most bizarre news list, contributed to some unconventional conversations, she said.

If Ego became property of the sheriff's office, agency had planned to use it for fundraisers and community events, giving kids something to smile about, she said.

Kowal said she did hear one suggestion around town the most.

"I think everybody I've talked to said, 'Oh you should let him stay with me today,' " she said.

Today, Ego will stay with Kowal as Brian McInnis and Jeremy Cattanach, both of Sarasota, loaded Ego into a pick-up truck and rode off into the sunset, back to Sarasota.

Until next time, Lego Man.

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