CRIME
05/30/2016 06:49 am ET Updated Dec 20, 2016

Man Accused Of Driving Through Memorial Day Cross Display

"This is something you don't do. This is a form of desecration."
Anthony Burrus, 27, is accused of driving a car through a Memorial Day display in Henderson, Kentucky.
Henderson County Detention Center
Anthony Burrus, 27, is accused of driving a car through a Memorial Day display in Henderson, Kentucky.

A 27-year-old man is accused of trashing a Memorial Day cross display in Henderson, Kentucky over the weekend.

Anthony Burrus allegedly drove a Ford Thunderbird through a field of white, plastic crosses set up inside the city's Central Park to honor more than 5,000 residents who died while serving their country.

Witnesses called police to the scene shortly before 6 a.m. on Saturday. Upon arrival, officers found 160 damaged crosses, each worth $100.

Volunteers from the Henderson Fire Department and the American Legion banded together to restore 140 of the crosses to their rightful places, WFIE reported. Twenty crosses were completely destroyed, and it was unclear if they would be replaced in time for the Memorial Day service on Monday. 

The Henderson Police Department took to Facebook on Saturday to issue a series of appeals for information about the incident. The first (above) revealed the crash damage. Then they released surveillance video showing what was believed to be the vehicle used in the incident:

"It appears to be a late '70s model car, possibly dark blue, and may have t-tops. Ford Thunderbird?" the post stated, before asking citizens to contact cops with any possible tips.

On Saturday night, the department revealed it had made an arrest in connection with the case:

Burrus was arrested for criminal mischief and leaving the scene of an accident. He is currently being held at Henderson County Detention Center, in lieu of $2,500 bond. 

His vehicle was found abandoned outside a McDonald's restaurant. Pieces of a cross and a stake were found embedded in the tires, police said.

Henderson Police Department spokeswoman Jennifer Richmond said the incident had "upset the entire community." 

"This is something you don't do. This is a form of desecration," Richmond told The Associated Press. "These people served their country and then someone disrespected their memory in this way, and it's just totally unacceptable."

Police aren't sure whether Burrus drove over the crosses on purpose, and said he denies all knowledge of the incident.

"He said he didn't do it. He admitted to driving the vehicle in the morning but would not state that he drove through the park," Richmond added. "But the evidence is in his car tires."

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