Thursday, October 8, 2009

Eleven & Twelve. . .

. . .that's how old two vandals, recently charged with toppling and destroying dozens of tombstones in Pottsville's Charles Baber Cemetery, are.
Let's hope they get just punishment.
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Charges Filed In Cemetery Vandalism Case
Published: August 26, 2009
From the Pottsville Republican & Evening Herald

Two Pottsville boys will be charged through the juvenile justice system in connection with three separate acts of vandalism in the Charles Baber Cemetery in the city.
Capt. Ronald Moser said the boys, one age 11, the other 12, face felony charges of institutional vandalism and desecration of venerated objects as well as a misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief.
He explained that after receiving estimates of damage from cemetery officials, police will file a juvenile allegation formally outlining the charges and reasons for filing them.
Moser said the estimates the police expect include the damage to tombstones, benches and other items that were vandalized and the materials and man hours needed for repairs.
Moser said newspaper articles about the three acts of vandalism put the word out that police were looking for those involved and information received from a Pottsville family led to identifying the boys responsible.
The two were interviewed and admitted to the vandalism, Moser said.
On June 30 or July 1, Patrolman Joseph Murton Jr. said 33 tombstones were damaged, some dating back to the 1800s.
Two weeks later, on July 14, another 10 tombstones were found damaged.
Finally, on Aug. 2, the two boys allegedly toppled a tombstone and destroyed other items at the gravesite of a 14-year-old boy who had been hit by a car and killed while riding his bicycle in 2002.
The Rev. James A. Rinehart, pastor of Trinity Episcopal Church, Pottsville, said he was surprised of learning the young ages of the boys responsible.
"It's a shock to me that young people would do that," he said. "I guess I don't understand that."
Despite their ages, he said the two must take responsibility for their actions.
"They are responsible for the thousands of dollars of damage that they did," Rinehart said. "I'm concerned for them. I'm concerned for their families."
He said cemetery trustees are compiling the list of the damages they expect to turn over to police soon.
Moser credited the residents who came forward with the information that led to the case being solved.
"It was good help from the public," he said.

1 comment:

Dylan Hyde said...


Not only will they suffer the punitive consequences, but they'll have to live with their actions for many years to come.

Let's hope they learn from this and turn it into positive community action.