HAMILTON TWP., N.J. – Two men are charged in connection with a crime that has outraged a South Jersey community.
Hamilton Township police said they received information Sunday about a “disturbing video” of a man urinating on a granite memorial to Christian Clopp, a 9-year-old local Cub Scout who died of brain cancer in 2012.
An investigation led police to arrest Bryan Bellace, 23, of Egg Harbor City and Daniel Flippen, 23, of Hammonton.
Bellace was charged with lewdness, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief, along with violating an local ordinance of having an open alcoholic beverage in a park.
Flippen, who police said filmed the video, also was charged with having an open alcoholic beverage in a park.
The memorial is in the Mays Landing Lakers Youth Sports Facility playground area.
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Community members reacted strongly to the crime on social media, with comments such as “disgrace,” “trash” and “karma” on the Hamilton Township Police Department’s Facebook page.
Christian’s father, Mark Clopp, shared his emotions about the incident on his Facebook page.
“Losing a child is an horrific experience that, to say the least is life changing. When all you have are memories and someone does that it is heartbreaking,'” he said in a post that also urged against anyone taking retaliatory action.
Clopp shared a post about local coaches Paul Burgan and Desmond Walker cleaning and disinfecting the memorial.
“At the end of the day, the good outweighed and overwhelmed the bad,” Clopp posted. “This is what Christian did during his life. He brought people together and he has accomplished that again.”
Follow Sheri Berkery on Twitter: @SheriBerkery
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