He Was High and Mad. His Crime: Toppling Jewish Headstones

Alzado Harris sentenced to probation for 2017 incident in University City, Missouri
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2019 7:50 AM CDT
Man Who Vandalized Jewish Cemetery While Drunk Sentenced
Alzado Harris.   (University City Police Department via AP)

When Alzado Harris went to the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City, Mo., in February 2017, he was inebriated, high on pot, and peeved at a friend. That's what led to his next act, he confessed to police, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: knocking over more than 100 headstones in the Jewish graveyard. Court documents note Harris caused more than $30,000 in damage, and on Thursday the 35-year-old pleaded guilty to felony institutional vandalism. He was sentenced that day as well, earning three years of probation, a $5,000 restitution fine, and a mandate that he stay employed full time and take an anger management class.

Harris was arrested more than a year after the incident after officials say his DNA was tied to DNA found on a jacket left at the scene; his DNA had previously been obtained when he spent four months in prison for a 2016 break-in. Despite what Harris did, however, officials determined it wasn't a hate crime or otherwise anti-Semitic. "There is no evidence to indicate the incident was racially, ethnically, or religiously motivated," a University City police release said at the time. St. Louis Public Radio notes that if he doesn't complete his three-year probation, Harris will see a suspended sentence of five years behind bars. (More Missouri stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.