Anthony Davis Carter Arrested for Burning Veteran's Graves

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

An arrest has finally been made after at least five incidents of vandalism that targeted veteran’s graves. Anthony Davis Carter, 29, was arrested on Veterans Day after he allegedly burned small American flags that marked veterans’ graves, stole flowers and charred gravestones. He placed the graveside items in a pile and burned them.

The vandalisms occurred between August and September. At least two graveyards in Bensalem, Penn. Roosevelt Memorial Park and Rosedale Memorial Park were damaged.

After a series of vandalisms in September, an officer patrolling one of the cemeteries found Carter walking through the lot with matches. Suspicious, the police officer asked Carter for a DNA sample. He agreed, and this Tuesday, police discovered his DNA matched samples found on a burnt flag.

Though the fact that the arrest happened on Veterans Day was a coincidence, Bensalem Director of Public Safety Fred Harran felt it was appropriate.

“I’m glad this happened on Veterans Day,” he said. "The fact that he was arrested on Veterans Day was just by accident, and the fact that our DNA came back this week and we were able to put a case together is a good ending to this sad case.” 

Carter told reporters he was innocent, but police believe the DNA evidence is sufficient to charge him with institutional vandalism, arson, possessing an instrument of crime, criminal mischief and reckless burning or exploding. He is currently in Bucks County prison, and his bail has been set at $10,000. When reporters asked how he felt about the charges, he replied, “I don’t feel bad.”

Police said they don’t know what Carter’s motive could have been.

"Why this knucklehead would decide to damage grave stones and marks and burn American flags, I have no idea,” Harran told WPVI.

Sources: WPVI, NBC Philadelphia, New York Daily News, Bucks County Courier Times

Image via NBC Philadelphia