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Re: St. Vladimir Cemetery vandals caught

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  • klandsberg
    Thanks for the update. ... with ... cemetery ... and ... president. ... Virgin ... cemetery ... Memorial ... are ... But ... I ... who ... this ... activity
    Message 1 of 2 , May 23, 2003
      Thanks for the update.

      --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Theodora" <theopetr@y...>
      wrote:
      > Published in the Asbury Park Press 5/23/03
      > By A. SCOTT FERGUSON
      > and JOSEPH SAPIA
      >
      > JACKSON -- Two township boys, 10 and 12, are to be charged today
      with
      > causing as much as $130,000 in damage at a Russian Orthodox
      cemetery
      > last week, police said.
      >
      > Juvenile delinquency charges, based on the May 12 criminal mischief
      > at St. Vladimir's Russian Orthodox Christian Cemetery on Route 571,
      > are to be filed in state Superior Court's Family Division, said
      > township police Detective Lt. John Siedler.
      >
      > Fourteen gravestones were destroyed while another 60 were damaged
      and
      > could possibly be repaired, said Martin Hrynick, cemetery
      president.
      > Hrynick said a total replacementwould cost $110,000 to $125,000.
      >
      > Also damaged was a cemetery chapel, which honors Russian Cossacks,
      > Ukrainians and Belorussians sent to Siberia in 1945. The chapel
      > damage includes broken windows, a damaged icon of the Blessed
      Virgin
      > inside and broken outside lights.
      >
      > The chapel damage was estimated at $2,500 to $3,000, said Nickolaj
      > Lukinov, a Cossack who helps maintain the chapel.
      >
      > Police are investigating if there's a connection between the
      cemetery
      > damage and the $2,000 damage done to the nearby St. Vladimir
      Memorial
      > Church on Perrineville Road at Route 571. The church and cemetery
      are
      > not affiliated.
      >
      > Police declined to identify the boys -- and they probably would not
      > be identified after charges are filed because they are juveniles.
      But
      > police said the boys and their families are aware of the pending
      > charges.
      >
      > The two boys live in the Cassville section, Siedler said, where the
      > cemetery and church are located. The area is home to many people of
      > Russian ancestry.
      >
      > Police believe the boys acted alone.
      >
      > "I'm glad it's been solved," Hrynick said. "I really don't know how
      I
      > feel about two silly kids doing something."
      >
      > Beside hurting family and friends of the deceased, "it's probably
      > going to hurt them for the rest of their lives," Hrynick said.
      >
      > Lukinov suggested a positive punishment for the vandals, something
      > that would make them understand what the vandalism meant.
      >
      > "I think preventive medicine would be better because, as they get
      > older, they may cause more damage for themselves," said Lukinov,
      who
      > lives in Warren, Somerset County. "Maybe next time, it will be
      > something much bigger. Maybe they will be reminded you can't do
      this
      > and get away with it."
      >
      > Lukinov's wife, Lina, suggested holding the parents responsible.
      >
      > "It's the desecration of the chapel that bothers me more (than the
      > cost to make repairs) because they did desecrate the interior,"
      > Hrynick said.
      >
      > "It's a sad commentary on our time -- with all the positive
      activity
      > they have, that we didn't have growing up, that they have to resort
      > to this," said the Rev. Philip Petrovsky, associate pastor of the
      > church. He has family buried at the cemetery. "It indicates a lack
      of
      > direction in their lives. It was completely senseless. It just got
      > them in trouble.
      >
      > "The emotional pain these people had to go through with the
      cemetery
      > is unbelievable," Petrovsky said.
      >
      > The boys were not of the Russian Orthodox faith, but there appears
      to
      > be no bias intended, Siedler said. Instead, it appears to be
      > opportunistic vandalism, Siedler said.
      >
      > On May 12 at about 5:30 p.m., the two were riding bicycles on Route
      > 571, also known as Cassville Road, and went into the 26-acre
      > cemetery, where more than 7,000 are buried, Siedler said. They
      > started vandalizing vigil candles and food offerings left on graves
      a
      > week earlier as part of the Russian Orthodox Easter tradition, he
      > said.
      >
      > Then, they moved on to the Cossack chapel, Siedler said.
      >
      > Sitting on a gravestone, they discovered it moved and realized they
      > could knock it over, Siedler said. At this time, they tipped over
      > several gravestones.
      >
      > Finally, they broke a door handle on the chapel and smashed the
      door
      > with a rock, Siedler said.
      >
      > Police estimated the boys were in the cemetery two to 2 1/2 hours.
      >
      > Investigating the vandalism at the church led police to one of the
      > boys, then to the second, Siedler said. The church damage included
      > stolen lights, ripped-out "no trespassing" signs, and damage to a
      > cross, steps and railing, Petrovsky said.
      >
      > At the cemetery, the cost of fixing the gravestones is the
      > responsibility of the families or their insurers, if they have one.
      >
      > "Some of those stones are not going to be replaced because there's
      no
      > family left," Hrynick said.
      >
      > The cemetery has established a fund to fix or replace grave markers
      > in such cases, or for families that cannot afford repairs, Hrynick
      > said. Contributions may be sent to the cemetery, 316 Cassville
      Road,
      > Jackson, 08527, telephone: (732) 928-1010.
      >
      > The cemetery, founded in 1939, is not simply "a local cemetery,"
      > Hrynick said. Plot owners live in 38 states, plus Canada and
      Europe,
      > Hrynick said.
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