YNN's Matt Hunter reports on the arrests of five juveniles who are charged with causing more than $100,000 worth of damage at Mechanicville's Hudson View Cemetery.
MECHANICVILLE, N.Y. -- "This is beyond mischief. This is just senseless,” said Robert Chase, secretary of the Mechanicville Cemetery Association. “You can see they just went right down in a row and tipped over anything they could get a hold of."
More than a week after a longtime caretaker at Mechanicville's Hudson View Cemetery discovered nearly 100 stones had been pushed over, locals are still troubled by the act of vandalism. Perhaps more puzzling is the age of the five suspects police arrested this weekend: all are between nine and 13 years old.
"I said you've got to be kidding me? Those are really young kids,” Mayor Anthony Sylvester said Monday afternoon. “I figured it was teenagers up here drinking, raising heck and whatnot."
"Some of these stones are huge,” Chase said. “I can't imagine kids, little kids, tipping these stones over. I think there's probably more involved. Time will tell."
Because of the suspects’ young ages, police will not release their names.
Mayor Sylvester says they were caught after another student at school overheard some of them bragging about the vandalism and then told his mother who then reported it to police.
"They're not representative of all of the kids in Mechanicville,” Sylvester said. “We’ve got a lot of good kids in Mechanicville and something like this overshadows the good kids."
All five will be charged as juveniles in family court.
Because the estimated damage total surpasses $100,000, officials are hoping the suspects families' insurance policies will help defray the costs. They're also calling on the state cemetery association to help repair some of the century old headstones.
"Some of the stones are illegible, we can set them back up where they belong, but still,” Chase said. “Somebody spent their hard earned money on that, it's their whole life’s story tied up on a stone. It's just a shame to see the kids do this."