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Vandals damage headstones at Canton cemetery

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CANTON — Vandals knocked over headstones and did other damage Sunday at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery on Riverside Drive in the town.

St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department deputies said 36 headstones were knocked over or displaced. Flags and flower pots also were broken.

The Rev. Douglas J. Lucia said visitors noticed things were out of place in the cemetery about 1:15 p.m. Sunday and notified him. He then went to the cemetery to see what had happened. After realizing the amount of damage, he reported it to the police.

“I’m not as much angry as I am saddened that people would do this,” he said. “Parishioners have been coming through the cemetery all morning and they’re all just disgusted with what’s happened,” he said.

Father Lucia said that, from what he could tell, most of the stones were disconnected from their bases and not broken. Workers from Witherbee and Whalen Inc., a Canton company that makes cemetery memorials, will help put them back on their bases this morning, he said.

The priest said he’ll seek justice and restitution.

Deputies are asking anyone with information about the vandalism to contact the sheriff’s office at 379-2222.

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