Fallen firefighter's memorial keeps getting desecrated - FOX 13 News

Fallen firefighter's memorial keeps getting desecrated

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The family of a firefighter killed in a crash three years ago is begging whoever keeps destroying their dead son's roadside memorial to stop.

Michael and Helen Gennusa have rebuilt it more than 20 times since their son Michael, a former Hillsborough County Firefighter, died in a crash outside his neighborhood.

The first memorials consisted of wooden crosses, stuffed animals, flowers and gifts, but within a matter of weeks everything was gone.

"No matter what we put down, if we put down a flag, if we put down a teddy bear, if we put down flowers, it was gone very quickly," Helen said.

Each time they rebuilt stronger.

Instead of wood, they used steel, but in a short amount of time, everything was gone again.

"A neighbor of ours found one of the crosses in the woods. Whoever keeps doing this yanked out the 300 pound cement, dragged it along the pavement, loaded it in a truck, then dumped it in the woods," Helen said.

They planted the most recent cross on June 5, and it was gone in less than 24 hours.

Years ago, the Gennusa's reached out to law enforcement. They were told the location of the memorial is not their property, and nothing can be done.

County code enforcement told them it does not touch roadside memorials out of respect.

"That's when we realized there was someone doing this," Michael Gennusa said.

The family thinks it's someone living in their son's old neighborhood who finds the memorial (all 20 of them) to be an eye sore.

The Gennusa's would love to work something out with the unknown vigilante so they can continue to honor their son.

"It's getting ridiculous now. Our family is being torn apart every time we pass the site and there's nothing there. Please leave us alone of tell us why you're going it, and maybe we'll stop," Michael said.

The family may get those questions answered next week. They were invited to the neighborhood's home owner association meeting to discuss the memorial.

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