Fifty one monuments, some dating back to the 19th century, were damaged on Tuesday, August 21, at Green-wood Cemetery.
Maintenance workers discovered the vandalism perpetrated by what Green-Wood’s historian,
Jeff Richman called a “very sick individual, or individuals,” in a blog post.
Monuments were knocked off their bases and cracked. The repairs, which are already underway, are estimated to cost $100,000.
In the meantime, the individual caught on surveillance video “who likely was involved in these outrageous acts,” is being sought by the police. The tapes have been turned over to the NYPD’s Hate Crime Squad.
“Cemetery vandalism is a fact of life,” added Richman. “It happens across America every day of the year. But, at Green-Wood, we have a high cast iron fence that surrounds our 478 acres and limits access by those up to no good. We have an around-the-clock, 24-hour car patrol of the grounds. We have video cameras mounted throughout to discourage vandals.”
He concluded by saying that “Sadly, no cemetery security system is a guarantee against vandalism.”
A nearby civic group, the Concerned Citizens of Greenwood Heights, released a statement, reading, “We are VERY upset, to say the least,” and asking, “Who in their right mind (and that may be the point) would inflict such senseless damage to such a historical place?”
The community is encouraged to help with donations by visiting: www.green-wood.com. Information on the vandalism can be shared with police by calling 1-800-877-TIPS.