Vandals disturb cemetery

Sep 152004
Authors: Ryan Riggen

Grandview Cemetery employees arrived at work Thursday to find

damaged headstones, broken concrete vases and two city of Fort

Collins trucks with broken windows.

The vandals damaged Grandview Cemetery, 1900 W. Mountain Ave.,

on the night of Sept. 8.

According to Phil Carpenter, cemetery supervisor, 91 monuments

were pushed over and 33 concrete vases were broken.

“This is the most malicious (vandalism) I’ve ever seen,”

Carpenter said. “Vases were kicked off and smashed over other


The cemetery was also damaged by vandals 10 years ago, but not

to the extent of the recent damage. Teenagers were responsible 10

years ago, but so far no suspects have been named in connection

with the recent damage.

“Last time there was a big public outcry and a reward was

offered,” Carpenter said. “There is not a great amount (of public

outcry) this time. I think it’s because a lot of (the monuments)

were real old ones, which makes a difference.”

An investigation is still under way to determine who is

responsible for the damage. Rita Davis, spokeswoman for Fort

Collins Police Services, said it is difficult to find those

responsible unless there were actual eyewitnesses.

“There are lots of vandalism cases that occur,” Davis said. “A

lot to vehicles and private property.”

Davis said those found responsible for vandalism are usually

charged with criminal mischief.

Ernie Chavez, professor and psychology chair at CSU, said

alcohol is frequently involved when property damage and vandalism

occur. He also said young people who vandalize do so as a way to

express their anger and to get back at society.

“It was likely multiple people,” Chavez said. “It was quiet and

there was nobody around so they probably knew they were more likely

to get away with it.”

Chavez said vandalism is not an unusual thing for adolescents to

get into and those responsible were likely drunk or high.

“They probably did one and nothing happened, then five, then 20,

and eventually got to 90,” Chavez said. “It’s a thing to do when

you’re bored and pissed off.”

Carpenter said all the monuments are back in place, but there is

still no figure on monetary damages done.

Citizens with information about the vandalism are encouraged to

call the FCPS Collins Investigation Division at 221-6560.

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