Manchester Police have made an arrest in connection to the vandalism at Oakland Cemetery.
26-year old Malachi Montes of Manchester was arrested Sunday. He faces a felony charge of First Degree Criminal Mischief.
Police had received a report of vandalism at Oakland Cemetery on North Franklin Street shortly before 10 am on Friday, August 16th. Officers discovered 25 headstones that were moved or tipped over and four headstones that were broken.
During the investigation, officers received information that Montes was seen leaving a home in the area where the vandalism took place at about 4 am that Friday morning.
Police later interviewed Montes, in which he confessed that he pushed over a “rock” in the cemetery, which turned out to be a specific headstone involved in the vandalism. Montes told police he was extremely intoxicated and under the influence of prescription medications at the time of the incident.
The vandalism caused an estimated $24,000 in damages. Volunteers worked to fix the majority of the headstones this past Saturday morning, lifting them back up onto their foundations and resealing them. A few of the broken headstones will still need to be repaired by Manchester Monument Works.
Montes is in custody at the Delaware County Jail on other unrelated charges.
bottom photo courtesy of Sara Breckenfelder