Police charge 3 with vandalism of tombstones Partying in cemetery led to $10,000 damage

July 09, 1991|By Roger Twigg

A 27-year-old former employee of the Woodlawn Cemetery was arrested yesterday for desecrating the western Baltimore County graveyard where 89 tombstones were overturned last week.

Walter Norman MacFarlane, an auto mechanic who lives in the 2300 block of Poplar Drive in Woodlawn, was charged with vandalizing the cemetery with two teen-aged boys after a night of drinking, said Sgt. Stephen R. Doarnberger, a police spokesman.

The boys, 14 and 15, surrenderred to authorities about 8 p.m. Sunday and were released to their parents after being charged as juveniles with graveyard desecration, malicious destruction of property and trespassing, Sergeant Doarnberger said.

Mr. MacFarlane was booked on identical charges after he was arrested at his job in the 8600 block of Liberty Road in Randallstown. He was taken to the Woodlawn precinct, where he was awaiting a bail hearing last night.

Police said the arrests resulted from interviewing youngsters who live near the 200-acre cemetery in the 2100 block of Woodlawn Drive.

Sergeant Doarnberger said a total of 89 tombstones were destroyed or damaged Wednesday night. The vandalism was discovered the following day.

Cemetery officials estimated damage at about $10,000. Some of the granite monuments were located in the oldest section of the cemetery and date back to the turn of the century.

Sergeant Doarnberger said cemetery employees were able to right many of the tombstones, which weigh several hundred pounds and stand 7 feet tall.

Police said the juveniles informed them that they committed the vandalism after a night of drinking. "The two said it started off as drinking and partying in the cemetery," Sergeant Doarnberger said.

Mr. MacFarlane and the two boys live near the cemetery and were described by the police as friends.

Police said Mr. MacFarlane had been employed at the cemetery between March and June and apparently left with no hard feelings. "It was apparently just drunkenness that caused it," Sergeant Doarnberger said.

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