Hoons desecrate grandparents' graves

By Jonathan Dine

1 comment
Left to right: Cherish Faavae, Angel Folasa 3 and a half, Melissa Mucalo grandaughter of Ben and Merle Mucalo. Photo / Warren Buckland
Left to right: Cherish Faavae, Angel Folasa 3 and a half, Melissa Mucalo grandaughter of Ben and Merle Mucalo. Photo / Warren Buckland

Melissa Mucalo is hoping her grandfather's desecrated tombstone will be repaired in time for his birthday.

The Hastings woman was heartbroken to see a photo on Facebook that showed that her grandparents' graves in Mangaroa Cemetery had been damaged.

"It's just awful. The family are really heartbroken. It has ruined our Easter."

Ms Mucalo buried her granddad in 2000 and her grandmother in 2012.

She said Mangaroa had always been a nice and safe environment. The headstone was knocked over and "all our mementoes we had put in front of the grave had been smashed".

"To think that someone could be that disrespectful, it's so upsetting," Ms Mucalo said.

She said if it was an accident the driver should have at least cleaned the area. "I just want them to be made accountable, whether it was an accident or not."

She said Hastings was not a big city and someone was bound to know something.

Ms Mucalo has cleaned the smashed mementoes and put the headstone back upright.

Council have agreed to replace the headstone, which Ms Mucalo is hopeful will be fixed in time for Friday.

"We want to honour him for his birthday and we want his tombstone to be there."

Hawke's Bay Police are investigating the damage at the cemetery. Senior Sergeant David Sutherland said just after 1.30pm on Friday visitors to Mangaroa Cemetery were upset to find that two graves had been damaged by a vehicle or vehicles that had been doing burnouts in the vicinity.

"Two gravestones have been knocked over and there are tyre marks all round the area."

A blue bumper has been recovered by police and will be forensically examined.

Police would like to hear from anyone who has knowledge of this, or knows of somebody who has just lost their front blue bumper.

"This will be a very upsetting thing for anyone who has loved ones buried at the Mangaroa Cemetery, and would like to reassure them that we will be working hard to find the people responsible for this."

- Anyone with information, please contact Senior Constable Deb Potter on (06) 831 0700 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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