RISING SUN — A man is facing criminal charges after he allegedly desecrated the grave of his ex-girlfriend’s mother in a Rising Sun cemetery on Easter Sunday because he had been jilted, according to Cecil County District Court records.
During a police interview after his arrest, the suspect — Dwayne Earl Young, 60, of York, Pa. — admitted to knocking over stone grave markers, shattering vases and pulling flowers from the ground at that burial site in Brookview Cemetery, police said.
Young told the investigator that he desecrated the grave because he “lost his cool” after learning that his girlfriend, with whom he had a relationship for the past 10 years, purportedly had been unfaithful to him with his “best friend,” police added.
“Young did admit to damaging her mother’s gravesite out of rage and was sorry for his actions,” Rising Sun Police Department Mpo. Daniel Stickney alleges in his written statement of probable cause contained in court records.
Stickney started his investigation at approximately 4:15 p.m. on Sunday, when he was dispatched to Brookview Cemetery on Cemetery Lane after receiving a complaint concerning destruction to a burial plot on that property, police reported.
The complainant showed Stickney the damage that had been done to her mother’s gravesite and then maintained that Young, whom she described as her “ex-boyfriend,” had targeted that burial plot “out of retaliation,” according to charging documents.
As the officer explained that it would difficult to prove that Young had desecrated the grave, without security camera video or eyewitnesses, the woman told Stickney that her ex-boyfriend had left the cemetery in a white Toyota 4-Runner with Pennsylvania license plates moments earlier, police reported.
Stickney recalled seeing a man driving a vehicle matching that description when he pulled into Brookview Cemetery, in response to the destruction complaint, and remembered that he had last seen it turning into nearby Veteran Community Park, police said.
The officer told the woman that he would attempt to locate the Toyota in question and speak to the man who had been driving it, police added.
Stickney spotted the Toyota in question, which was making a left turn onto nearby Kirks Court, as the officer was preparing to drive off the cemetery property, court records show.
After activating his patrol vehicle’s flashing lights and other emergency equipment, Stickney attempted to stop the Toyota — and that led to a brief police chase, according to court records.
“(The driver) accelerated at a high rate of speed, making a left onto Park Circle, where the operator left the roadway and fled through numerous yards of residences that back up to West Cherry Street. The operator who failed to stop operated in such a reckless manner that I did, in fact, break the vehicle pursuit,” Stickney outlines in his written statement of probable cause.
A short time later that day, Stickney spotted the Toyota in question turning into a restaurant parking lot in the 300 block of East Main Street in Rising Sun, police said. The officer arrested Young there and then drove him to the nearby RSPD station for processing, police added.
In addition to confessing to the desecration of the gravesite, after waiving his right to remain silent, Young acknowledged that he had failed to stop for Stickney earlier that day, explaining that “he did not realize that the vehicle that was chasing him was a patrol vehicle and (that he) was just happy that nobody was injured,” court records allege.
Young is charged with destroying a funerary object, which is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, and destroying graveyard plants, an offense that carries a maximum two-year sentence, according to court records, which further indicate that Young is scheduled for a June 10 trial.
Stickney also issued Young two traffic citations charging him with reckless driving and attempting to elude a uniformed police officer, both of which are connected to the purported police chase, court records show.
Young spent one night in the Cecil County Detention Center without bond, before gaining his pre-trial freedom on Monday by posting a $2,500 bond after his bail review hearing earlier that day, according to court records.