Police continue to investigate damage inflicted at three Pacific cemeteries, according to Police Chief Matt Mansell.
In a routine drive through, an officer discovered numerous toppled tombstones in the City Cemetery at approximately 8 a.m. Thursday, March 30. Officers visited nearby cemeteries and found stones knocked over at Old St. Bridget Cemetery.
Sunset Cemetery also had stones knocked over, but when that damage occurred is now being questioned.
Police first reported that 139 stones were pushed over in one incident and two juveniles had been apprehended within hours of discovering the damage.
Alan Bruns, owner of Sunset Cemetery, said he’s certain that six stones were pushed over some time between March 30-31. He discovered the damaged stones one day after the juveniles in the first incident were apprehended.
“We’re going over this very carefully,” Mansell said. “It is possible that there was a second incident.”
Sunset Cemetery sits on the opposite side of Williams Street from the City Cemetery.
Mansell said he drove through Sunset Cemetery March 30 after the damage was discovered in the City Cemetery.
“I didn’t see any damaged stones, but my drive through was preliminary,” he said. “We’re taking Alan (Bruns) seriously. He says he’s certain that there was no damage in Sunset during the original incident on March 30.”
Officers are talking to officials and individuals who visited the cemeteries March 30.
“If there was a second incident it would be a copycat,” Mansell said. “Some kids saying, ‘They did it. Let’s do the same thing.’ ”
City officials are scrambling to put together a plan to repair the damage in the City Cemetery, which suffered the most damage.
Mayor Jeff Palmore, who operates Bell Funeral Home, said city crews could lift many of the stones back into place and his firm has equipment to help with some larger stones.
Some stones are too large to be lifted with city or Bell Funeral Home equipment and some are broken beyond repair.
“We can’t just go in there and start doing things,” Palmore said. “We have to have a plan.”