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April 17, 2014 - 12:06pm

Vandals knock down 25 headstones at Elmwood Cemetery

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Elmwood Cemetery.

Among the headstones knocked over in the Elmwood Cemetery this weekend, according to Superintendent Steve Davis, was one marking the grave of a toddler.

In all, some 25 headstones were knocked over sometime over the weekend.

"I've been here almost 20 years and every year we get some form of vandalism," Davis said.

It's not always headstones getting knocked over, Davis said. Makers have been spray-painted; glass bottles have been broken on graves; and flower pots have been stolen. One time, somebody even vandalized the veterans memorial at Elmwood.

"I don't know, maybe it's just a bad neighborhood," Davis said.

In 2009, five 12-year-olds were identified as the youths who knocked over 75 headstones, but usually, the vandals are never caught.

Davis has already put the smaller headstones, including the 2-year-old's, back in place, but other will need the base leveled and the headstones epoxyed back in place.

That will cost some $500 to $600, Davis said.

With every internment in New York, there's a $5 fee paid to the State of New York for a vandalism fund. The cemetery board will have the option of applying for reimbursement from that fund, but payment could take up to a year, Davis said.

In 2009, Elmwood received about $1,000 for the damage caused by the 12-year-olds.

Davis did file a police report. Anybody with information about the vandalism can contact BPD at (585) 345-6350.

Brenda Ranney
Brenda Ranney's picture
Last seen: 3 weeks 4 days ago
Joined: Jun 21 2008 - 5:29pm

Somebody knows who.
Hopefully that person or persons can sympathize with the loved one who's graves were vandalized. Hopefully they are a better person than those who did this. As to the people who committed this awful act you need help.

Howard, I remember that previous act of vandalism. As I remember reading the story on The Batavian, someone was quoted as saying that the parents were not in the position of making financial amends. Was there at least community service involved for those 12 year olds ?

Jason Fetterly
Jason Fetterly's picture
Last seen: 3 years 9 months ago
Joined: Mar 11 2014 - 2:41am

The continued displays of disrespect, be it from child or adult, are sickening. I honestly do not understand the complete detachment from both personal and society morals people have. We need security camera's in place to catch the cretins responsible for these acts and parade them around in a bright jumpsuit doing community service for an entire year, after making a public apology and restitution. Even when the culprits are in fact caught, the punishments received are far too lenient when weighed against their insensitive and careless act, and that too is disgusting.

I for one would like to volunteer to help out with the labor of restoring these headstones and markers. Anyone else?

Kyle Couchman
Kyle Couchman's picture
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: Dec 25 2009 - 8:54am

Let me catch someone doing this kind of thing on one of my midnight walks. It's very dangerous running through cemetaries at night you can trip and fall facefirst into gravestones very easily. It would be a shame to have the police finding unconscious youths in local cemetaries in the early morning hours,

Marje Ribbeck
Marje Ribbeck's picture
Last seen: 1 day 15 hours ago
Joined: Jul 3 2013 - 8:30pm

Jason, count me in.

Paul Weiss
Paul Weiss's picture
Last seen: 3 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: Sep 10 2008 - 5:05pm

I have grandparents buried there. Is there any list of the stones that were damaged?

John Woodworth JR
John Woodworth JR's picture
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: May 28 2009 - 11:13am

Let me know Jason.

Kyle, I do agree that, this is a extremely disrespectful behavior but, to wish injury on a teenage child is a little over the top. Not saying they are teenagers but, if they are, injuring them is not the solution. Beside brother this day and age you may want to be a witness and contact the authorities before you lay chase. I do like the idea to make them cover the cost of repair along with them repairing the damage with supervision and public display of their faces with signs stating their actions. Jail time is another idea especially if they discover they are repeat offenders. It is ashamed that there are dumasses out there that behave like a moron.

Jason Fetterly
Jason Fetterly's picture
Last seen: 3 years 9 months ago
Joined: Mar 11 2014 - 2:41am

I have created a facebook group for this. I have not determined a date, but let's all hop on and talk about it. We need to band together as a community and show this is unacceptable.

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