Thu. May 26th, 2022

The leaders of a historic city cemetery say it is being overrun by the junkyard dogs next door.

Michael’s Cemetery in Queens was established in 1852 and is one of the oldest cemeteries in the city and the last resting place for composer Scott Joplin and boxing master Emile Griffith.

East Elmhurst Cemetery is also the setting for a vicious legal battle with adjacent junkyard owner Tom Tiseo, who allegedly allows his Rottweilers to roam the 88 acres of sacred land and threatening mourners.

For years, the unidentified junk farm, dubbed only “ABC Corporation” in court documents, had “dealt with systematic harassment, intrusion and violation of staff, property … and visitors to St. Michael’s,” the Queens Supreme Court said. .

In the late 1990s, the junkyard “a hole” allowed to fall into a partition between “24-37 [49th Street] and St. Michael’s properties, ”the complaint states.

The scrap yard dogs would enter St. Michael’s through the broken fence, “terrorizing patrons and staff at the cemetery and disrupting funeral services,” the complaint states.

Junk Yard, adjacent to Saint Michael's Cemetery
St. Michaels filed a lawsuit against the junkyard on September 30th.
JC. Rice

St. Michaels asked Tiseo to repair the broken fence or restrain the dogs, but Tiseo did none of them, the suit says. St. Michael’s cemetery even offered to repair the fence at his own expense, but was ignored, the claim claims.

St. Michael “had no choice” but to build a buffer fence on his own property “to ensure the safety and sanctity of the cemetery,” the suit said.

“Then Tiseo started aggressively intervening in St. Petersburg. Michael’s property. Tiseo began storing and piling waste, bulldozing and building make-shift structures on St. Michael’s property, ”reads the suit.

“Despite complaints that Tiseo ignored, Tiseo began systematically using larger portions of St. Michael’s property, ignoring complaints and mocking St. Michael’s representatives for ‘suing’ him,” court papers say.

Saint Michael's Cemetery, man working on the fence separates the scrap yard
St. Michael “had no choice” but to build a buffer fence on his own property “to ensure the safety and sanctity of the cemetery,” the suit said.
JC Rice

Tiseo got his wish when St. Michael’s case brought on 30 September.

The complaint alleges that Tiseo is attempting an illegal land grab between his destroyed fence and St. Michael’s buffer fence. Lawyers for the cemetery received a court order this week to stop any activity awaiting a court hearing next month.

St. Michael’s — a still active cemetery owned by St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Manhattan is asking the court to determine the correct boundary line between the two properties and has submitted land surveys. The church wants a judge to order the junkyard to clear the land it intervenes in and get Tiseo to cover the costs. The suit also seeks unspecified damages.

Saint Michael's Cemetery
Michael’s Cemetery in Queens was established in 1852 and is one of the oldest cemeteries in the city.
JC Rice

“The buffer fence that our clients installed was intended to keep the dogs [away] … It was not a concession of property or the functional equivalent of a demilitarized zone, ”cemetery attorney Greg Nahas told The Post.

Tiseo could not be reached for comment.

.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.