September 17, 2012
Family pursue memorial vandal
By SHAWN JEFFORDS, QMI Agency
TORONTO - Tony Jasinski says he doesn’t understand.
Why would a man, dressed in black and armed with a hammer, continually rip down a road-side memorial to his 17-year-old son Thomas, who died in 2009 after a horrific car crash?
Fatigue or a medical condition are believed to have caused tragedy.
“I just want him to stop. Live and let live.”
And until Sunday, Jasinski had no idea who the person was who had torn down the memorial, ripped up plants and left ominous messages telling the family to stop building the memorial along Hwy. 403 and Glen Erin Dr. in Mississauga.
The family hired a private investigator who caught the vandal red handed.
“You know there are sick people out there in this world; there just are,” he said.
Jasinski said he and his family were at their wits end as the memorial was destroyed 11 times this summer. Finally, they hired Star Quality Investigations to monitor the site, complete with video surveillance.
They repaired the memorial at 11:40 a.m. Sunday and less than two hours later the man had returned, clad all in black and driving a black pickup truck.
“He just started ripping everything down and putting it into plastic bags,” said Matt Romanick, who is co-owner of the agency with his wife Adrianne Fekete.
Romanick confronted the man, asking him why he would destroy the memorial.
“He said ‘Why do you do this all of the time?’” Romanick said. “He told me ‘I don’t agree with this always being here. ... I don’t agree with people putting up shrines. They have no right to do it.’”
The man then drove away as Romanick recorded him on video.
Romanick said the pictures and video have been turned over to the OPP in hopes investigators will build a criminal case against the man. He is believed to have no connection to the family.
Romanick said his firm took on the case pro bono because they couldn’t believe someone would be so heartless.
“We have four kids,” he said, adding they will make a donation to a scholarship fund in Thomas’ name. “This story touches us. This is one of those instances where we felt we would offer our services for the family.”