Man, 34 admitted to vandalizing Jewish cemetery, police say - KMOV.com

Man was drunk, mad at friend when he damaged Jewish cemetery, prosecutors say

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Alzado Harris is charged with institutional vandalism.  He is accused of toppling more than 120 gravestones at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in February 2017. Alzado Harris is charged with institutional vandalism. He is accused of toppling more than 120 gravestones at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in February 2017.
Hundreds of headstones were turned over at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City Sunday. Credit: KMOV Hundreds of headstones were turned over at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City Sunday. Credit: KMOV
Vice President Mike Pence speaks at a Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City. The cemetery was recently vandalized. Credit: KMOV Vice President Mike Pence speaks at a Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City. The cemetery was recently vandalized. Credit: KMOV
UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Authorities said a 34-year-old Florissant man has confessed to vandalizing a Jewish cemetery in University City.

Alzado Harris is charged with institutional vandalism.

He is accused of toppling more than 120 gravestones at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in February 2017. Prosecutors told News 4 he was drunk and mad at a friend who had just dropped him off near the cemetery.

Prosecutors said a coat with Harris' DNA on it was left at the cemetery and recently was matched to a DNA sample given by Harris when he was sent to prison last December on an unrelated charge.

The damage was estimated at more than $30,000.

Cemetery executive director Anita Feigenbaum thanked the University City Police Department, "We truly appreciate that they've worked so diligently to uncover who had done this."

Several days after the vandalism occurred, Vice President Mike Pence and Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens visited the cemetery and helped with clean up.

Police say he confessed to the crimes when interviewed by officers and said he was acting alone.

"When he confessed, basically he was upset over some personal issues and he was under the influence of a drug and alcohol and he was angry at the cemetery and took his anger out on those headstones," said Police Capt. Frederick Lemons. 

There is no evidence that the crime was racially, ethnically or religiously motivated, University police said.

Harris is being held on a $20,000 bond.

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