SOUTHAMPTON — Police said a small herd of cows that wandered into Center Cemetery on Monday morning destroyed 40 American flags and some veterans’ bronze grave markers and munched a few flower arrangements.
Motorists called to report that the cows were loose on Route 10 in the area of the cemetery at 9 a.m. Police contacted the owner, Henry Wykowski of Strong Road, who caught and removed the cows from the cemetery around 10 a.m.
Police Chief David Silvernail said that while Wykowski’s cows are an “ongoing problem,” there have not been any major incidents. He estimated that police have responded to complaints about the roaming bovines three or four times since last spring.
Cemetery Commission member Robert Floyd said police informed him of the damage Tuesday and advised him to request that the farmer pay to replace the damaged property. He said he plans to assess the damage with Richard Frary, the veterans’ grave officer, and come up with an estimate.
Wykowski could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Rebecca Everett can be reached at email@example.com.