Cemetery vandals apprehended
Criminal charges are expected against three juvenile girls in connection with two incidents of vandalism at a Cloquet cemetery in May and June. The three girls, all age 14 and all of Cloquet, admitted to causing damage at Old Calvary Cemetery (lo...
Criminal charges are expected against three juvenile girls in connection with two incidents of vandalism at a Cloquet cemetery in May and June.
The three girls, all age 14 and all of Cloquet, admitted to causing damage at Old Calvary Cemetery (located above Pinehurst Park) recently, according to Terry Hill, assistant Cloquet Police chief.
The investigation had been ongoing but police reportedly interviewed the girls after receiving a call on July 3 that the girls were causing damage at the cemetery.
One of the girls was present at both incidents in May and June and she is expected to be charged with one count of felony damage to property and one count of gross misdemeanor illegal molestation of cemeteries in the May case. The same charges are expected to come against another girl in that incident as well.
"More damage was done in the May incident, warranting the felony charges," Hill said.
In June, the cemetery was hit by vandals again and Carlton County Assistant Attorney Dennis Genereau will charge two girls, including one who participated in the May vandalism, with one count each of gross misdemeanor damage to property and gross misdemeanor illegal molestation of cemeteries.
Shortly before Memorial Day, vandals caused widespread damage in the cemetery, toppling 17 headstones and smashing glass bricks on the side of the burial vault building.
The caretaker said this was the most damage the cemetery had ever sustained, to his knowledge.
Though most of the gravestones were either toppled or rolled off their bases, one - comprised of two pillars joined by a stone bridge - was damaged irreparably.
Similar vandalism occurred in Old Calvary and the adjoining cemetery in November 2006, and two episodes of widespread damage to headstones and grounds were reported in Hillside Cemetery in Carlton in May 2006 and again that same June.
"We take these cases very seriously, and follow up with them diligently," Hill said.