Vandals Topple Headstones, Destroy Statue at Cemetery

Anger is in the air at St. Patrick's Cemetery in Watertown, Massachusetts, after seven headstones were toppled and a statue was vandalized.

"I'm angry," said Elaine Gray. "Those are nuns, and this is a nun's grave right here."

Watertown Police were alerted to the vandalism around 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Detectives think it happened sometime between Monday night and Tuesday evening.

"We take any crime very serious, but especially something in a cemetery," Watertown Police Lt. James O'Connor said. "We feel that it is definitely intentional, malicious behavior. It is disturbing at a cemetery, it is very disturbing."

On Wednesday, as news of the vandalism trickled out, those with loved ones buried at the cemetery hurried to check on loved ones.

"I'm so glad the families aren't here to see this, because that would just be so devastating," Denise Richard said after learning her family's plots were OK. "I'm just so glad that when I came to visit my dad's grave that his was OK."

By Wednesday afternoon, cemetery crews were repairing the damage, fixing headstones and picking up the pieces of the broken statue.

"It hits home," Watertown Police Detective David MacNeil said.

MacNeil has several family members, including his grandparents, buried at the cemetery.

"This is a place of rest, it is supposed to be a place that should be left alone," he said.

Investigators said they were still chasing leads on Wednesday evening.

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