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North Seattle cemetery brings in extra security after couple seen having sex on tombstone

For weeks, workers at the Sephardic Jewish Cemetery in North Seattle have been cleaning up needles, trash and other waste left behind by homeless campers on their grounds. Now the cemetery board is bringing in extra security. (Photo: KOMO News)

SEATTLE (KOMO) - For weeks, workers at the Sephardic Jewish Cemetery in North Seattle have been cleaning up needles, trash and other waste left behind by homeless campers on their grounds.

On Tuesday, one of the workers said he saw a couple having sex on a tombstone and now board members claim they've had enough of people trespassing and trashing their cemetery.

The groundskeeper caught photos of the couple. He declined to go on camera after he said the couple threatened to smash his car windows when he called police.

"They don't respect the area where we are. They don't respect any neighborhood they're in, so why would they be respecting a cemetery any differently? People come out here and have sex on the tombstones. Who knows what else is going on out here," said Ari Hoffman, a member of the cemetery board.

The Jewish cemeteries in North Seattle said they've had safety issues for years. Board members have complained about people setting up encampments nearby, leaving trash on the grounds and partying on top of the tombstones.

Now they want the city to step up and do their part.

"We want two hour parking here, just like it is on the rest of the streets and we want it enforced. Enforcement is key to stopping this," Hoffman said.

Seattle Police responded to the call. But after speaking to the couple, they didn't make an arrest.

"Both the woman and the man denied any sexual contact. The man said he was there visiting a family member who was laid to rest in the cemetery," said Seattle Police Sgt. Sean Whicomb.

Hoffman said they were already planning to bring in more security for the cemetery and Tuesday's incident confirmed they made the right decision.

The group brought in armed security guards for a Memorial Day ceremony Wednesday night.

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