Philadelphia NBC10 News reports on Cemetery Graffiti Clean-up by AtlanticGreenPro at Egg Harbor Cemetery.
Philadelphia ABC 6 News reports on Cemetery Graffiti Clean-up
by AtlanticGreenPro ar Egg Harbor Cemetery
Atlantic City NBC 40 News reports on Egg Harbor Cemetery Graffiti Removal by AtlanticGreenPro
ACTS OF VANDALISM ERASED BY GOOD DEED
NBC40 Atlantic City | April 26
MULLICA TWP.--A week after vandals desecrated a local cemetery, a South Jersey company is looking to right that wrong. They're providing special help they city needs to erase the hateful graffiti.
It takes only minutes for Dale Freitas to restore headstones that have been standing for more than a century, which were recently defaced by a malicious act of vandalism. "To desecrate these, the people who are here can't defend themselves and the rich history, it's awful," he said.
Freitas and his brother own Atlantic Green Pro, a surface restoration company, and wanted to help out at the Historic Egg Harbor Cemetery. They offered their services free of charge after seeing news reports last week about the vandalism of more than 40 headstones there. "It was just the wrong thing to do," said Freitas, "and I thought, I'm going to come down and fix it."
"A week ago, everybody in the city was completely, completely devastated by what happened here," said city council member, Hazel Mueller, "and in a week's time, it has turned all to good."
The city tried to cleanup the graffiti on its own, but found the methods they were using were just causing further damage to the old stones. "It's limestone and it's a very soft material," explained Freitas, "you have to be really careful - if you pressure wash it, you'll gouge it out."
Realizing they needed help, the city looked to an outside company to remove the graffiti, and were told it would cost $12,000 for the job, so when Atlantic Green Pro came along and offered to do the same job for nothing more than a portion of the cost of cleaning materials, the city jumped on board. "It's a beautiful thing," said Mueller, "I think the city owes him a lot."
Freitas says he's happy to help, and knew he had just the right tool for the job, which uses volcanic crystals, to safely remove the paint. City officials praise the brothers for stepping up, and say their actions have truly helped erase the ugly act that preceded this. "For everything bad thing that happens, there's good," said Mueller, "more good people than bad."
While the cemetery is owned by Egg Harbor City, the vandalized stones are actually in the neighboring city of Mullica Township.
Police say there have been no arrests and have few leads in the vandalism case and urge anyone with information to call CrimeStoppers by dialing 1-800-658-TIPS.