MAYS LANDING, N.J. (CBS)– Christian Clopp was just 9 years old when he died of an inoperable brain tumor in 2012. His time on earth was short, but his father says he left a huge impact on the community.
“Throughout all of it, all he did was smile at people. He was the happiest kid and never complained a day in his life,” said Christian’s father, Mark Clopp.
In 2014, the town committee named the park, located at 129 Old Egg Harbor Rd. in Mays Landing, in Christian’s honor.
But on Sunday, a video uploaded online showed 23-year-old Bryan Bellace urinating on the boy’s memorial.
On Monday, Clopp agreed to meet with the man who desecrated his son’s memorial.
“I really don’t remember doing it, I just remember waking up to the video,” Bellace said.
He told Eyewitness News a long day of drinking led up to the events on the video.
“I’m very deeply sorry about what I’ve done and if I could take it all back and do it all over again, I would,” he said.
Christian’s father said he’s choosing to forgive him.
“Being angry is never going to heal anyone, it’s never going to fix it. The most intelligent thing to do is to put it behind us. Let’s move on and turn it into something positive,” said Clopp.
Bellace plans to see help for his problem with alcoholism and is looking to turn over a new stone to make things better moving forward.
Daniel Flippen, 23, was also arrested and charged with lewdness for recording the act.
Clopp feels forgiveness is what his son would have wanted and is raising money to help beautify the park.
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