Man Accused of Urinating on Flags at Veterans Cemetery

"Never imagined what I was about to see"

Somerville Veterans Memorial Cemetery is the final resting place for many who served our country. George Gatteny says the usual calm and tranquility was disrupted by the sights and sounds of disrespect.

Monday afternoon, Gatteny says he was sitting in traffic on Broadway in Somerville, Massachusetts, when he saw a man pull out four miniature American flags from the ground with a woman acting as a look out.

"Never imagined what I was about to see," said Gatteny

Gatteny says the man then threw the flags behind a statue and urinated on them.

When he got out of his car and confronted the pair, Gatteny says they quickly took off.

"They were walking, talking, as if nothing happened," said Gatteny.

Before they could leave, he snapped photos and posted them on Facebook. The responses so far have pretty much been outrage, with some even threatening violence against the couple.

"Don't take matters into your own hands," said Gatteny. "The police are taking care of it."

Police also released a photo of the male person of interest, asking for help identifying him.

Somerville Police

According to Somerville Veterans Services, the cemetery contains remains of soldiers killed in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam Wars and the 1983 Beirut bombing. Gatteny says he just wants to make sure they continue to be honored and respected for their service.

"The freedom you think you have, to do what you want? They died for it," said Gatteny.

"If these allegations are true, they are offensive not only to our community and our own veterans, but to our entire nation and those who served and continued to serve," Mayor Joseph Curatone said in a statement. "Following the full investigation by the Somerville Police Department, I am confident that anyone who may be found guilty will be held fully responsible for these despicable actions."

Anyone with information on the male's identity is asked to call 617-625-1600 Ext. 7238.

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