Police in South Jersey arrested two men on Sunday after a video circulated on social media showing a man urinating on the memorial of a boy who died from an inoperable brain tumor.
Earlier in the day, Township of Hamilton police were alerted to the video, which was shot in full daylight at Underhill Park, a playground in Mays Landing. Posted on Snapchat, it showed a man urinating on a granite memorial for Christian Clopp, a boy who died in 2012 at age 9 after fighting brain cancer.
Investigators charged Bryan Bellace, 23, of Egg Harbor City, with lewdness, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief, and having an open alcoholic beverage in a park. Daniel Flippen, 23, of Hammonton, who allegedly shot the video, was charged with having an open alcoholic beverage in the park.
The late boy’s father, Mark L. Clopp, is a former Township of Hamilton police officer. Friends and family gathered on Sunday to disinfect the plaque that memorialized Clopp’s son.
Clopp posted a note thanking the community on his Facebook page and asking them not to take retaliatory action:
“So, my day started out horribly, after learning what happened to Christian’s memorial. After controlling my own emotions and assisting my family with same, I finally found a moment to put all of this into perspective,” he wrote.
"I’ve heard from hundreds of people offering assistance. Friends and strangers went to wash the memorial off.
“At the end of the day, the good outweighed and overwhelmed the bad. This is what Christian did during his life. He brought people together.
“If we let anger prevail, we’ve lost the battle. Thanks again, everyone, for coming together and showing how great our community can be.”