A Pennsylvania man has been arrested after authorities found him setting Christmas wreaths on fire in a Maryland cemetery, apparently because they were not biodegradable and he was trying to save the planet, the authorities said.
Witnesses called 911 after spotting Peter J. Custer, 43, taking plastic wreaths from three or more burial sites, placing them on an access road and setting them on fire at Cedar Lawn Memorial Park in Hagerstown around 1 a.m., the Maryland Fire Marshal said.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Maryland and the State Fire Marshal’s Office have responded. During his arrest, Custer said he was trying to save the earth and that plastic crowns were not biodegradable.
Investigators could not determine the exact plot from which each wreath was taken.
“This desecration at Cedar Lawn Memorial Park is morally wrong. To disturb the final resting places is despicable, criminal and will not be tolerated,” said Maryland Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci.
Custer was transported to the Washington County Detention Center and later released on his own recognizance after appearing before a district court commissioner.
He was charged with second degree arson, malicious destruction of property under $ 1,000 and trespassing on private property.
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