Police Make Arrest in Cemetery Vandalism - NECN


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Police Make Arrest in Cemetery Vandalism

2 Arrested in Westbrook Cemetery Vandalism

(Published Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015)

A 24-year-old man accused of vandalizing nearly 50 tombstones at a historic Westbrook cemetery and causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage while he was drunk faced a judge on Wednesday.

State police arrested Kyle Blye, of Westbrook, on Tuesday and said he confessed to knocking over headstones in the Old Burying Ground Cemetery, on Old Clinton Road in the center of town, on the Friday night before Halloween, known around the region and beyond as Mischief Night.

Blye told police he was drunk and sorry for what he'd done, according to the arrest warrant application.

In all, 46 headstones were damaged and the estimated cost to fix them ranges from $500 to $1,000 per headstone, according to police, or a grand total of between $23,000 and $46,000.

The vandalism was at the oldest cemetery in Westbrook, with monuments erected as far back as the 1730s, according to Catherine Neidlinger Doane, who posted photos of the vandalism on the Westbrook Historical Society's Facebook page. Some of the headstones were broken at the base, while others were broken in half.

Police said they received an anonymous tip on Monday morning, identifying Blye and a 17-year-old boy as the suspects.

When police found Blye, he said he knew the teen would tell police what happened. He went on to say he was on probation and did not want to go to jail for what he and the teen did in the cemetery. according to the arrest warrant application.

"We were both a little drunk when we did it and we didn't mean to upset anybody or cause any problems and we are sorry we did it," Blye said in a written statement, according to police.   

When police spoke with the teen, he said Blye bought beer and they were both drinking

Blye was charged with first-degree criminal mischief, conspiracy to commit first-degree criminal mischief,  interfering with a cemetery or burial grounds and delivery of alcohol to a minor.

Bond was originally set at $7,500 and the judge kept the bond the same.

Blye is due back in court on Nov. 9.

A 17-year-old juvenile was also arrested in connection with the vandalism.