Man Charged After Setting Christmas Wreaths On Fire

Office of the State Fire Marshal Patch

The wreaths were taken from burial plots.

Hagerstown, Md (KM) The Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office says a Pennsylvania man is charged with setting fires to multiple Christmas wreaths at a cemetery in Hagerstown.  Peter Custer, 41, of Harrisburg was arrested on Christmas Eve, and charged with 2nd-degree malicious burning, malicious destruction of property and trespassing on private property.

Witnesses who were driving past Cedar Lawn Memorial Park in Hagerstown at around 1:00 AM on Friday saw Custer standing by a fire. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the State Fire Marshal’s Office responded to the scene and took Custer into custody.

They say he took plastics wreaths from three or more burial plots, placed them on an access road and intentionally set them on fire. He told investigators that he was trying to save the earth and that plastic wreaths were not biodegradable.

Custer was released on his own recognizance following an appearance before a District Court Commissioner.

“This desecration at Cedar Lawn Memorial Park is morally wrong,” says Maryland State Fire Marshal Brian Geraci, in a statement. “Disturbing final resting places is contemptible, criminal and will not be tolerated.”

By Kevin McManus