QUEBEC-RESEARCH-L ArchivesArchiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2007-06 > 1182951181
Subject: [Q-R] Vandals damage cemetery
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2007 09:33:01 EDT
Vandals damage North Knox Co. cemetery
KNOX COUNTY (WATE) -- Vandals at a North Knox County cemetery damaged nearly
a dozen tombstones.
6 News spoke with people Tuesday who have relatives buried in Union Cemetery
on Washington Pike, just down the road from Union Baptist Church.
The families want to know why anyone would destroy their loved ones' final
Paul Barker was visiting his dad's grave on Father's Day when he discovered
several tombstones knocked over.
His opinion of the vandals is "Really low, about as low as you can get."
Barker's parents, grandparents and brother are all buried in the cemetery.
"It's real hurtful, you know, because it may be my parents next or my
grandparents, or brother. I don't want to see that."
Ten tombstones were damaged. Some were knocked off their bases. Others are
broken into pieces. Some of the markers date back to the 1800's.
Barker reads one tombstone aloud, "1890, she lived a long time, didn't she?
She lived long enough that she shouldn't have her stone done like that."
Mary Brooks lives next door to the cemetery. Her ancestors donated the land
for it. She's also on the cemetery committee, but didn't know about the
damage until 6 News brought it to her attention.
"I was shocked," says Brooks. "At first I didn't believe it and then my next
reaction was I wanted to get up here as quickly as I could and see whose had
been disturbed and the extent of the damage."
Brooks' great-grandfather's tombstone was one of the targets and a baby's
tombstone was broken in half, thrown over the fence into Brooks' field.
"This is just completely, completely unbelievable, that anyone would be this
mean," she says.
According to Brooks, church members will repair what they can and try to
keep this from happening again. "I would like nothing better than to catch them
and if we catch them, they will be prosecuted. There won't be any leniency."
The Knox County Sheriff's Office is investigating. If the damage estimates
are over $500, the vandals could be charged with a felony.
The cemetery will discuss everything from a community watch with rotating
shifts to putting up gates that can be locked overnight.
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