NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A Holyoke man pleaded not guilty in connection with damaging more than a dozen headstones at a cemetery in Northampton.
Northwestern District Attorney’s Office spokesperson Laurie Loisel told 22News 19-year-old Matthew James Dulude of Holyoke pleaded not guilty in Northampton District Court on Monday to the following charges:
- Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol
- Possession of open containers of alcohol
- Failure to wear a seatbelt
On Saturday at around 1:42 a.m. Northampton police were on patrol in the area of St. Mary’s Cemetary located on Bridge Road and saw a grey Infinity sedan with heavy end front damage. Officers spoke with the driver who allegedly showed signs of impairment and was arrested for OUI liquor.
During the investigation it was revealed that the vehicle was traveling westbound on Bridge Road and the driver allegedly left the travel lane and crashed into the cemetery, striking and damaging 15 to 20 headstones. Dulude told police that he saw three cars coming at him, one of which was traveling in the wrong direction in his lane of travel, causing him to run off the road and into the cemetery.
According to the police report, officers saw a grey Chevrolet Trailblazer nearby, which belonged to William Dulude, the father of Matthew. He said his son had called him at approximately 12:30am crying and upset saying he had crashed his car into the cemetery. Mr. Dulude said he had connected a tow strap from the Trailblazer to the Infinity and attempted to drag the car from the cemetery. He did not give a reason for not calling emergency services and said he was going to call a tow truck.
Matthew Dulude is scheduled for a pretrial conference on June 13th.