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Man charged with vandalizing Catholic college’s cemetery

June 24, 2020 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A man painted swastikas and anti-Catholic language on gravestones at a cemetery at Providence College and assaulted a campus safety officer who tried to intervene, according to the school and city police.

Keveon Gomera, 26, faces 15 counts of desecration of a grave and an assault charge for the alleged vandalism on the Catholic school’s campus Monday night.

Bail was set at $10,000 at his court appearance Tuesday. He did not enter pleas and was referred to the public defenders’ office.

Gomera targeted the Dominican Cemetery’s central cross and seven headstones, and was burning American flags at some of the gravesites when he was spotted, according to a statement from college President Father Brian Shanley and President-elect Father Kenneth Sicard.

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The suspect struck the officer and fled. The officer was treated at the hospital, according to the statement. The damage has since been repaired.

No motive was disclosed.

“We loudly and unequivocally condemn this racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic action, and the desecration of the gravestones of our beloved, deceased Dominicans who served Providence College so well and so faithfully for many years,” Shanley and Sicard said.

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