Police: Teenager arrested after 75 graves desecrated

by: Catherine Bilkey Updated:


CONCORD, N.C. - Ronnie Lemmonds pointed out the members of his family buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Concord, N.C.

“Fred Lemmonds, LeAnn Lemmonds, and Levy Lemmonds-they're buried right down yonder. That was my aunt and grandma and grandpa,” he said.

A teenager accused of desecrating as many as 75 graves in Concord had recently been arrested for possessing a weapon of mass destruction, according to arrest records.

Lemmonds has protected the grounds every night at the cemetery for years. He’s disgusted by the vandalism.

“Right here is where he started and he had an ax in his hand, went on down yonder and then went this way," he said.

Police said 19-year-old Afdal Azam Ali Leach is responsible for the vandalism. He has been accused of taking an ax and a machete to as many as 75 grave sites.

"I was shocked with the amount of damage that was done there. I wasn't prepared for what I saw," said Capt. Robert Ledwell with the Concord Police Department.

Police were tipped off by a witness at 11:30 a.m. Thursday. They said they arrived and found Leach.

"That's terrible. That's very terrible. You just like to get a hold of somebody who does something like that," Lemmonds said.

When Eyewitness News looked up Leach’s record, he was in jail a few months ago on charges of possessing a weapon of mass destruction. Police said he had a backpack full of knives and even some strapped to his bicycle.

Leach’s father told Eyewitness News that he’s shocked by the accusations and didn’t know his son was locked up.

For the weapon’s charge, Leach’s father said his son is innocent and police violated his rights. The father added that since the arrest, his son hasn’t been the same.