Cemetery Vandalism Suspect Gave TV Interview Before Arrest

A Westbrook, Connecticut, man who at one point called vandalism to a historic cemetery "ridiculous" and "appalling" is now one of two people charged in connection with the crime.

Police said 24-year-old Kyle Blye and a 17-year-old, whose name was not released because of his age, face charges including criminal mischief.

The pair is accused of knocking over or breaking 46 headstones, some of which are hundreds of years old, at the Old Burying Ground Cemetery in Westbrook on Friday night – the night before Halloween, known as "Mischief Night." The damage is likely in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Blye, who had not yet been arrested, walked by the cemetery Sunday while NBC Connecticut was reporting on the crime and denounced the vandalism.

"They went harder than usual. Like, people, I don’t know why they got to do stuff like this," Blye said Sunday. "They’re going out of their way to make, make a big thing. It’s ridiculous. It’s appalling."

But that "appalling" behavior turned out to be Blye's, according to police. In court documents, police said a tip later lead them to Blye, who lives close to the cemetery.

Police said Blye and the teen admitted to being drunk and knocking over the headstones.
Both apologized to investigators.

"We were both a little drunk when we did it and we didn't mean to upset anybody or cause any problems and we are sorry we did it," Blye said in a written statement, according to police.

"The fact that the individuals have been identified means a lot to this community," said Westbrook First Selectman Noel Bishop.

Bishop said a group, including headstone experts, will survey the cemetery on Friday.

Some of the headstones that were knocked over will be uprighted. Others that were broken will likely have to wait until spring to be repaired.

The town has insurance, but the deductible is high, so officials hope volunteer time and donations will cover the repairs.

Blye was charged with first-degree criminal mischief, conspiracy to commit first-degree criminal mischief, interfering with a cemetery or burial grounds and delivery of alcohol to a minor.

He appeared in court Wednesday, where his bond was set at $7,500. Blye is due back in court on Nov. 9.

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