By William Tauro

A suspect that was allegedly accused of defacing a grave and urinating on American flags last week at a Somerville Veterans cemetery is being detained on a court ordered 14 day evaluation stay in a Rhode Island psychiatric facility after he allegedly made threats to kill himself.

Last week we wrote an article about a Facebook post that was posted last Monday that had since gone viral on the Internet where a good samaritan who witnessed two alleged vandals defacing a grave in Somerville at the Somerville Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

According to the samaritan’s Facebook post he also witnessed one of the vandals urinating on four cemetery flags that they pulled from a grave at the cemetery before leaving the scene.

The good samaritan then followed the alleged vandals and was able to get an opportunity to grab a few photographs of the suspect and his girlfriend.

According to sources, the alleged suspect was arrested this past week at a Rhode Island airport by Rhode Island State and Warwick Rhode Island Police as he was boarding the plane attempting to return to Oregon to elude any arrest or conviction by local authorities.

We are also being informed that Deputy Chief James Stanford of the Somerville Police Department contacted Mayor Curtatone and asked if the department should issue an arrest warrant and apprehend the suspect after the 14 day evaluation stay but was allegedly asked to stand down because of political pressure issues being put on him on both ends by certain political groups.

On Monday we attempted to obtain a copy of the police report at the Somerville Police Station of this incident but we were turned away and advised that no reports were available.

Somerville Police Detective Mark Polli who has been recently assigned the case was unavailable for comment.

Read the following original Facebook post below that was posted which led up to this article:

I witnessed something today that outraged me! I was driving down Broadway in Somerville. I stopped behind a bus waiting to pull into Clarendon Station. I looked over to my right and saw young people (early to mid 20’s) go into the Somerville Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

As they approached the statue, I saw them grab the 3 or 4 mini flags that were placed in from of the statue. The guy took the flags and tossed them behind the statue. What I saw him do next pushed me to a point where I said to myself “ENOUGH”.

The guy started urinating on the flags. I quickly pulled over, got out of my car and headed over to them. The girl was standing by the gate (she must have been the look out). I started yelling at them to stop, asking him as I approached ‘what the hell he was doing’. He stopped urinating, pulled up his pants and started walking out of the memorial.

Both of them walked up Broadway laughing. I walked behind them for awhile telling everyone I pass what they did. I went back to the memorial to see what damage was done (see photo). An older gentleman came over and thanked me for taking a stand. He told me he has 2 friends buried there.

Still outraged, I felt I needed to do more. So I got back in my car and drove up Broadway (toward Telle Sq) to see if I could find them. I wanted photos of them. I saw them walking up Broadway. I pull over across the street and waited for them to catch up.

They were across the street and I snapped a few photos from my car (see attached photos).

What possible reason could they have for desecrating a WW2 Memorial? There are consequences for our actions. They probably thought no one would do anything. They were WRONG!

UPDATE… After reviewing over 800 comments I understand everyone’s outrage but do not condone taking action into your own hands. I fully intend to file a report with the police and share all information that I have.

Taking action into your own hands will only distract from what they did. Don’t give them anything to use in their favor. Thank you.


  1. Bullshit!! He’s hiding from Police. I hope the investigating Detective remains vigilant and brings this Suspect back to Somerville to face Justice along with His Tufts University Girlfriend.

  2. Screw the Mayor! As a veteran I am appalled at this!! They need to be brought to justice so others will see it is NOT acceptable behavior and it WILL have consequences! If an arrest isn’t made I will move back home and do all I can to get the Mayor legally out of office!!!!

    1. This man should have to perform many hours of communty service for veterans and sit in to PTSD sessions with veterans to hear their stories. Shame him but educate him along with it. I’m all for the right to protest but this was very wrong and hurtfull to many.

  3. “According to sources.”

    You know, if you’re the New York Times, have a demonstrated record of credibility, etc., then, -maybe-, you can get away with citing your source as “sources,” instead of identifying your source of information.

    Until then, it sounds like you have written utter bullshit, or have stupidly believed something you have no way of verifying.

    Since there is a police report on record at Somerville PD, it sounds like you didn’t do your job as a journalist. Or your hobby – I don’t imagine anyone is paying you for this.

      1. There are two things that are verifiable:

        That George Gatteney posted an anecdotal report in which he claims to have witnessed certain events.

        That there is a report filed with the Somerville PD, filed by Mr. Gatteney, regarding the event he claims to have witnessed.

        There are no other verified facts or evidence in regard to this event, and specifically, the claims made in this article have no verification or evidence.

        Have a nice day.

  4. Screw that piece of shit Curtatone and bring charges against these pieces of shit. If the Mayor had an ounce of balls he would stand for the American Veterans who gave their lives for this country and not bend to bullshit political pressure. The lead investigating Officer should proceed with his report and seek charges and a warrant if the crime deems it so. I believe he would be on solid ground in doing so and after the backlash from the Troopergate report incident I don’t see how they could mess with him and not be exposed. Do the right thing !!! How do you people of Somerville keep voting that Asshole back in office

    1. Oh didn’t you see he’s having a Veterans Day Parade —— FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER – how many terms has he been in ??? Coincidence?

    1. There is absolutely no law that says that police reports on not available to the public during an ongoing investigation. Under the Public Records Law of Massachusetts, police reports are public records, and public records are subject to public records law.

      It sounds like you either do not know what you are talking about when you state you belief that, “Police Reports are NOT available to the public during an ongoing Investigation,” or you have misinterpreted your reading of “exemption (f) – the investigatory exemption,” as defined by MGL. c. 4, § 7(26)(f).

      Exemption (F) allows the custodian of a record to withhold that record, if (and only if) its release would interfere with an investigation – for example – by alerting a suspect to the fact that he is being sought.

      You can have your own copy of the police report – just write to Somerville PD and ask!

      …or do you think that they want to keep it a secret still that they’re looking for the guy with the tattoo?

  5. Since when do they have to ask the mayor for permission to issue a warrant. Wouldn’t that be the District Attorneys decision? Before Curtatone was mayor I used to consider him a friend, but now I just want him out of office!!!!! Arrest that piece of crap. I come from a military family that’s something Joe can’t say.

  6. I hate to burst your outraged “bring them to justice” bubble, but exactly how much jail time do people typically get for (alleged) public urination, because that’s basically the only crime here, unless you view pulling little temporary plastic flags out of the ground vandalism. Sure, his message was offensive. His crime wasn’t.

    1. Section 73:Tombs, graves, memorials, trees, plants; injuring, removing …shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than five years or by imprisonment in the jail or house of correction for not more than two and one-half years and by a fine of not more Five Thousand Dollars. Forget the urinating part, just by removing the flags he is guilty. This is not just an ordinary public indecency case.

      1. The legislation you’re attempting to cite, MGL Part IV, Title I, Chapter 272, section 73, has not yet been tested in court.

        We may see some modification to this two-year old statute once it is.

          1. Well – reiterating that the information provided in this posting is nearly all unvetted and unconfirmed, and quite likely untrue, …

            …yes: if evidence can be developed to support the original anecdotal report, and if they are charged with violating section 73, then this would be an ideal case – and I think the first – to test that law.

            I want to be clear: I’m not a lawyer – I’m just a dude. My lay research did not reveal any cases in which a violation of section 73 was charged. I’m doing my best to be diligent and complete in my research to support the chat.

            …Your second question is not something I can answer. The art of preparing charges against a suspect is a little bit jurisprudence, and a little bit voodoo, in my estimate. I believe that the suite of charges on would choose to apply in this case (again reiterating that the report of a person fleeing the state is completely unsubstantiated and uncorroborated) would be determined in part by, what evidence is available and its strength; what collection of charges is best representative of the crime in total; and what collection of charges have the greatest chance of being successfully prosecuted.

            All, of course, in my opinion. Except for the critiques against the information presented in this original posting: it is all suspect.

            1. I am always glad when I come across “commentators” (if that is the right word) like yourself on forums like this. Your input is greatly appreciated and I have actually learned something of value today.

              1. I appreciate your saying that. Accuracy and truth – well, I, for one, believe they’re important.

                And I believe a very good reason why they’re important is illustrated right here in this forum.

                1. I did some sleuthing and found his name Michael Lacey he is 31 from Rhode Island. An arrest warrant has been issued and they are waiting for him to be extradited from Rhode Island.

                  1. I did some sleuthing too.

                    I discovered an article published today (9/21/18) in the Boston Globe that identifies the person as Michael Lacey. Is that where your sleuthing lead you?

                    However, that article does not say he is from Rhode Island. That article says he is from Oregon.

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