A Massachusetts grandmother says she was attacked and had her cellphone stolen at a Taunton cemetery Memorial Day weekend because she told a man he was breaking the rules.
On Sunday evening, 73-year-old Judy Lemaire was at the Mayflower Hill cemetery putting flowers on the grave of her brother-in-law who died in Vietnam, as well as the graves of other family members.
Lemaire says she saw a man and a woman with four dogs off the leash. Signs posted say pets must remain in the car.
Police identified the pair as Alvin Berube, 53, of Onset, and his daughter.
Lemaire says when she told Berube of the rule, the two had a heated exchange.
“I said you not supposed to be letting your animals loose in cemetery and he said, 'Mind your own business lady, people like you make me sick,” Lemaire recalled.
The grandmother admits other people walk their dogs in the cemetery, but she was upset because these dogs were off the leash and she says Berube and his daughter were being disrespectful.
“I said your dog just urinated on somebody’s headstone and she said if that was mine it would be an honor” Lemaire said. “He got nasty and said some foul language and then said, 'You better keep going I got your number and I’ll see you at home,” she recalled.
Lemaire said she felt threatened but wanted to stand up up for herself. She decided to take pictures of Berube, his daughter and their dogs to show police. Then she says things turned violent.
“As I started taking pics, he started walking towards me and said, 'Lookit lady, you want trouble? You are going to get trouble. This is your trouble. He grabbed both of my arms and we struggled over the phone and then he swung me around and I let go of the phone,” Lemaire said.
Lemaire called police as Berube walked away. Officers arrested Berube walking to the cemetery next door. He’s now facing charges of assault and battery on a person over 60. Police say he admitted to burying the phone in the woods, officers were not able to find it.
“I just think of him as a bully,” Lemaire said.