DUNDALK, Maryland — Dozens of headstones were toppled at a Ukrainian Catholic cemetery in the Baltimore suburbs last week, officials said.
Church officials said some 49 headstones were knocked over and damaged last week at the Dundalk cemetery operated by the St. Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Catholic Church in Baltimore last week, The Baltimore Sun reported.
Baltimore County Police spokeswoman Sgt. Gladys Brown said the department is investigating, but she couldn’t immediately say whether the vandalism is being investigated as a hate crime.
A neighbor of the cemetery called cemetery administrator Stephen Humeniuk on Wednesday to alert him to the damage. The timing of the incident — just before Russia invaded Ukraine — is difficult to ignore, he said.
“The first thing you think is a hate crime, but you can’t prove it,” said Humeniuk, who also serves on the church council. “There was no notes. There was no spray paint. Nothing to indicate that. It was just the timing of the incident and the crisis in Ukraine.”
The cemetery is protected by a locked gate, but there was a hole in its fencing, and now the church is considering installing security cameras, Humeniuk said.