Cops: Toppling tombstone traps vandal

MERRILLVILLE: M'ville man faces criminal charges; $8,400 in damage done at cemetery
2007-05-08T00:00:00Z Cops: Toppling tombstone traps vandalDEBORAH LAVERTY
dlaverty@nwitimes.com
219.662.5324
nwitimes.com

MERRILLVILLE | A night of drinking and tombstone tipping ended for a 22-year-old Merrillville man when one of the monuments came crashing down on his legs, police said.

Police said a security guard found Michael David Schreiber passed out and pinned under a 1,000-pound headstone shortly before 8 a.m. Sunday at Calumet Park Cemetery.

Schreiber, who faces charges of criminal trespassing, criminal mischief and public intoxication, was transported to Methodist Hospitals Southlake Campus in Merrillville.

Both his legs were broken during the incident, and he was scheduled to undergo surgery on one of his legs, Merrillville patrol Officer Ray Smith said.

Smith said it took five officers to remove the heavy headstone from Schreiber's body, and the family name at the top of the headstone left its mark on the suspect, he said.

"The letter V (in the family name) left an imprint on Schreiber's thigh," Smith said.

In addition to facing criminal charges, Schreiber also faces possible restitution to the cemetery for the 14 headstones he toppled over and -- in some cases -- damaged, Police Chief Nicholas Bravos said. Estimated damage to the headstones totalled about $8,400, Bravos said.

Schreiber told police he and a companion had been drinking at Beaver's Bar until about 4 a.m. before going to the cemetery, 2305 W. 73rd Ave.

Schreiber estimated he had been trapped under the headstone for more than three hours before police arrived, Bravos said. The suspect would not divulge his companion's name to police, Bravos said.

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