MIAMI – A man has been apprehended by Miami police for allegedly vandalizing the tombstone of an individual who had lost their life due to a drunk driving incident.
Brian Rodriguez, 24, is facing charges of burglary, disturbing a grave’s contents, and committing criminal mischief. The authorities have labeled this as a reprehensible act of vandalism and defacement.
Video footage captured an individual spray-painting a tombstone, using a hammer to crack it, and even kicking down flowers.
Shockingly, the suspect shared images of these actions on Instagram and even tagged the deceased man’s sister. This man, along with Yuhlia Gelats-Medina, tragically lost their lives in a drunk driving accident on New Year’s Day 2021.
Andres Medina, speaking to CBS News Miami, expressed his satisfaction with Rodriguez’s arrest. Medina shared that memorials for crash victims had been vandalized twice, but Rodriguez wasn’t charged for those instances. Medina firmly believes that love will always prevail over hatred, no matter how many times the latter surfaces.
About five months ago, a video posted on Instagram via a fake account showcased someone disrespecting a headstone and associated items at Woodland Park Cemetery in Little Havana.
The vandal went as far as spray-painting the headstone. The family of the buried individual was alerted to this vandalism by an anonymous tag. In response, the cemetery manager set up a camera near the gravesite.
In June, another video emerged on Instagram and this time the victim’s family recognized the suspect as Rodriguez, who was personally acquainted with a family friend.
Police gathered information about Rodriguez’s vehicle and cell phone number. After a lengthy investigation, they were able to pinpoint Rodriguez’s location at the cemetery using data from his phone.
Images of the crime were released by investigators as a warning that such acts of vandalism will face consequences. MPD spokesperson Officer Kiara Delva emphasized that this arrest is a significant stride toward justice and sends a clear message that acts of desecration will not be tolerated in the community.