A Salida man was arrested early Wednesday, August 7 after staff at Ceres Memorial Park reported he was vandalizing headstones.
At 2:50 a.m. Officer Christian Izquierdo was sent to the cemetery after an employee called to report that Richard Coelho, 42, of Salida, was damaging tombstones. Several witnesses saw Coelho pulling the flowers out from around the gravesites and when asked to leave, Coelho refused and began kicking tombstones. He kicked over some, breaking off figures of angels. In all, Coelho caused an estimated $3,000 in damage.
The officer found Coelho a short distance from the cemetery and at first gave a false name. He eventually gave his right name and was booked into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on charges of felony vandalism, trespassing, probation violations and providing a false name to a police officer.