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Police Seek Person Of Interest In Somerville Flag Desecration

SOMERVILLE (CBS) – Police in Somerville are trying to identify a man they say is a person of interest in the desecration of American flags at a veterans cemetery.

"At that point I was outraged, I couldn't believe what I was seeing," said George Gatteny.

Insulted and infuriated, Gatteny says he witnessed the unthinkable act while sitting in his car in traffic by the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Somerville. He says a man and a woman in their 20s walked into the cemetery and ripped four American flags out of the ground. The man then took the flags and walked behind the monument.

"He started undoing his pants, taking himself out, and making motions to appear to be urinating," Gatteny said.

George followed the couple and took photos of them on his phone and posted them on Facebook and shared them with police.

Somerville flags
Person of interest in Somerville American flag desecration (Image credit George Gatteny)

"I just started taking pictures of them," Gatteny said. "And as I got out of frame I watched them go up a side street, pulled up saw them going into a house that they apparently lived in, so I got all that information down."

George posted the photos of the desecrated flags on his Facebook page and it's drawing a lot of attention and comments.

Another man named Tom also witnessed the incident and is personally disgusted. Two of his friends are buried there.

"That's unacceptable, they were walking away laughing, thought it was a fun thing," Tom said.

George hopes police nab the couple and hold them accountable.

"I'd love to see them prosecuted, I'd love to see them also have to do a lot of community service," Gatteny said. "I don't think they realize the sacrifices that veterans made."

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to contact Somerville Police.

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