Headstones damaged, knocked over at Jewish cemetery in University City

Miranda GreerFeb 22, 2017

"It's hard to even express how awful it was", she said Tuesday morning. No arrests had been made, as of Tuesday.

"In a released statement, University City Police said 'Although there is nothing to indicate that this is a hate crime, the department has increased patrols in the area and officers are conducting frequent walkthroughs of religious institutions throughout the City".

"Disgusted to hear about the senseless act of desecration at the cemetery in University City", Greitens wrote. Lt Fredrick Lemons said investigators were looking at surveillance camera footage to help determine who had pushed over the headstones. The local Muslim community has also offered to assist with efforts to clean up, according to the cemetery's executive director.

The attack on the cemetery took place sometime between Friday night and Monday morning, when the damage was discovered. In one swath, for example, spread across about 40 yards, two dozen stones are toppled but 10 rows of stones nearby are untouched.

While numerous tombstones were knocked over, some were actually broken by the vandals when they toppled them.

"Anxiety is high", Aroesty said Tuesday.

It wasn't immediately known when the damage happened.

"Have not seen desecration like this in region. Thanks for the solidarity and support".

On Monday, 11 Jewish community centers (JCCs) across the USA received bomb threats, the latest in a wave of 69 coordinated threats against 54 JCCs in 27 states and one Canadian province since early January, according to the JCCA, an association of JCCs. Burke rushed to the cemetery today in order to check whether her loved ones' gravestones were vandalized.

On his Facebook page, Republican Gov. Eric Greitens called it a "despicable act of what appears to be anti-Semitic vandalism", and that "together, we can meet cowardice with courage". Its pastor, Chris Paavola, said of the vandalism: "This is just intolerable".

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