August 31, 2015
By Rudy Miller
Now it’s gone, along with a framed photo, and no one knows where they are.
Easton Mayor Sal Panto questions whether they should have been allowed to stay up for months after Scheuermann’s death in October 2014. He will ask city council next month to limit the amount of time makeshift memorials are allowed to remain in public right-of-ways.
Marraccini was cleared of wrongdoing by the state attorney general because Scheuermann was ramming his truck into a utility pole at the site and putting police and bystanders in harm’s way.
The family put up the memorial so his relatives could come to the spot and reflect, according to Scheuermann’s aunt, Lori Scheuermann.
She wants whoever took the items to return them.
The utility pole that Scheuermann struck was replaced once the criminal investigation concluded, according to Metropolitan Edison spokesman Scott Surgeoner.
“We replaced the pole once it was released as part of the crime scene,” he said. “Met-Ed did not and does not touch memorials unless they are attached to our poles.”
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Panto said city workers don’t remove memorial’s either.
“The neighbor might be the person that did it,” he said. “It’s on somebody’s property. It’s in the public right of way. It has no permission to be there so maybe somebody did take it away.”
The property owner didn’t respond to a note left asking whether they knew of the whereabouts of the memorial.
Panto said has received complaints from neighbors about makeshift memorials. He said families are entitled to a place to grieve, but a cemetery is a more appropriate spot for a memorial.
“The place of eternal rest is where they should go. Not on a city street,” he said.
He thinks the city should remove memorials after 30 to 60 days. He will bring the matter before city council for discussion at the Sept. 9 meeting.
Memorials could be hazards for drivers and could yield lawsuits, the mayor said.
“If there’s an accident, I don’t want to see the person who put the memorial there get sued,” he said. “If I go off the road and I hit that cross, that cross shouldn’t have been there. It’s unfortunately a litigious society today. Everybody wants to file lawsuit.”
Lori Scheuermann said memorials should be allowed to stay up as long as they’re attended to by the mourners. Her family is considering a civil suit against the city over Scheuermann’s death. They’re unsatisfied with the attorney general’s conclusion that the shooting was justified.
“I don’t think memorials should come down until everything is resolved. If it takes us two more years (to get closure in her nephew’s death), I don’t think it should come down,” she said.