YEKATERINBURG, May 22. /TASS/. Fifth-graders have damaged 157 gravestones while conducting parkour stunts and free-running contests in a cemetery in the village of Bilimbay, in the Sverdlovsk Region. Internal affairs agencies will keep files on the schoolchildren’s families, and the parents may be held administratively liable for the damage, the Interior Ministry’s regional governance press service reported today.
Without delay, police uncovered three schoolchildren involved in desecrating the local cemetery. The inspection showed that 157 gravestones had been damaged, 53 of which are beyond restoration. The police are conducting a pre-investigation inquiry to question witnesses, victims, scrutinize the inflicted damage and other facts. The inquiry’s outcome will affect the ensuing decision," the report says.
The Interior Ministry elaborated that the cemetery’s desecration was reported on May 21. "A Bilimbay resident called the police saying two headstones on her parents’ graves had been damaged.
During the probe, the police established the identity of the purported offenders: those were three fifth-graders from local school #22. Neighborhood friends told the police in the lawful guardians’ presence that they had been free running (or parkouring) through the cemetery last Friday evening and damaged the gravestones, based on law enforcement reports.
According to the Interior Ministry, one minor is from a two-parent well-to-do family, while the other two minors have school records of being troubled teenagers. "The schoolchildren’s activities fall under the Russian criminal code article ‘desecration of graves’. However, since they are underage, they cannot be charged with a criminal offense. Internal affairs agencies will keep files on the schoolchildren’s families and social workers will counsel the minors and their families," the department added.
At present, action is being considered to possibly charge the parents with an administrative offence under the Administrative Code: "Failure to perform the obligations to support and raise minors by parents or other lawful guardians." Besides, the ministry added, the relatives of the dead whose graves were damaged may sue for compensation for the incurred damage.