In broad daylight in a New Jersey public park, a man urinated on a memorial to a little boy who died from cancer, according to video that surfaced Sunday on CNN affiliate KYW-TV.
But yesterday, two local coaches, Paul Burgan and Desmond Walker, stepped up to clean and “disinfect” the memorial. On Facebook, they posted photos as they scrubbed off the plaque next to a playground in Mays Landing, New Jersey, a town about 50 miles southeast of Philadelphia.
The stone memorial at the playground pays tribute to Christian Clopp, who passed away in 2012 when he was nine years old. The marker says Christian was “a child who made the world a better place through his courage, faith, smile, laughter and love of others.”
Burgan and Walker are both in their early thirties and have been coaching youth football for more than a decade.
Walker told CNN he saw a video on social media yesterday around 4 p.m. that showed a young man urinating on the memorial at Underhill Park in Mays Landing, where he and Burgan often often hold their football practices.
“I couldn’t imagine what Christian’s parents are going through”
Walker said the video made him “emotional” and “choked up.” He said he’s a father of two, and “couldn’t imagine what Christian’s parents are going through.”
He called Burgan, asking him to come help him clean up the mess. Burgan said, “Absolutely, brother.”
They hoped that beyond just washing off the marker, that “something good could come out of it,” Walker said.
They’re also helping get the word out about an event honoring Clopp’s life and legacy, called Christian’s Bubble Brigade, Thursday afternoon at the park. “The community has been united,” Burgan said.
“To the Clopp family, we support you, we are here for you, and if we can prevent it we will never let something like this happen again on our watch,” Burgan wrote on Facebook.
The man who urinated on the grave and the man who filmed it will both face criminal charges, including disorderly conduct, criminal mischief and having an open alcoholic drink, KYW reports.