Two south New Jersey men are facing criminal charges after one of them allegedly filmed the other laughing while urinating on a memorial for a 9-year-old boy who died of cancer.
Bryan Bellace and Daniel Flippen, both 23, were arrested on Sunday after the video taken in a Mays Landing park was flagged to the Hamilton Township police department, authorities there said.
The memorial honors Christian Clopp, a local Cub Scout who died in 2012 from an inoperable brain tumor. It sits on a playground that was built in the boy’s memory, CBS 3 News reported.
Bellace has been charged with lewdness, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief. Flippen, who authorities said shot the video, was charged with having an open alcoholic beverage in a park. They were released on a court summons.
Bellace’s father has meanwhile told The Press of Atlantic City that he has fired his son from his family’s plumbing business.
“We apologized to the family ... I’m sorry for his actions. I’m not proud of him,” he told the local paper.
The child’s father, Mark Clopp, who’s a retired Hamilton Township police officer, told the New York Post that he holds no ill will toward the men but he hopes they “get help” as “there’s obviously something very wrong in their lives.”
“They’re laughing and joking about it, saying as they did it that it was a memorial,” Clopp said. “I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt — it looks like they were under the influence of alcohol. Perhaps that’s the reason why they did it, I don’t know.”
By the end of the day, two local men had come out to voluntarily clean and sanitize the memorial.
In a Facebook post, one of the two do-gooders, identified as local football coaches Paul Burgan and Desmond Walker, said they did it so the boy’s family would know “that this is our community and we don’t condone to this type of sickening act.”
“To the Clopp family we support you, we are here for you,” Burgan’s post continued, “and if we can prevent it we will never let something like this happen again on our watch.”