Destroyed Hindu Statues Buried, Vandals Forgiven

May 25, 2009

Author: Esme Murphy

Source: WCCO

Three years after statues of Hindu deities were smashed by vandals, the statues were buried in a ceremony at the Maple Grove Temple.

Among those attending the ceremony were the two young men who committed the acts.

Tyler Tuomie and Paul Spakousky were sentenced to five years probation and are having to pay $48,000 each in restitution. Still, they were welcomed at the ceremony Monday.

At the ceremony, the 11 statues were placed in shallow graves. The damage was clearly visible. Temple members said they were devastated when it happened.

"Another way to put it is somebody broke into your house and essentially cut off the limbs and heads of family members," said temple trustee Byron Byraiah.

After the arrest of the two young suspects, the community decided they would forgive.