Cross Snatched From Memorial Site

By: Rosie Barresi Email
By: Rosie Barresi Email

The cross is valued at more than $300, but it's worth far more than that to the friends and family of Officer Michael Builta. It was pulled from the ground at a busy intersection in Colorado Springs. It happened sometime on Saturday night or Sunday morning. The cross was dedicated to the 34-year-old Colorado Springs police officer who was killed in a motorcycle accident two weeks ago.

The cross was donated by the City of Colorado Springs. It had only been there for about a week and a half. The cross was permanently placed near Tutt Blvd. and Barnes Rd. That's where Officer Builta was killed.

It's a busy Colorado Springs intersection. Family and friends of the victim say someone must have seen something. After all, the cross is 3-feet tall. "It was a big shiny cross," said Casey Hutchison who is the Builta family spokesperson.

City engineers even helped put the cross in place. They used a steel post and anchored it several feet into the ground. It was done to turn what had been a makeshift memorial into something permanent.

The news of the cross being swiped came as a surprise. "I thought no way. So, when we came down, it was gone," said Hutchison.

It appears that whoever snatched the cross spent some time and energy doing it. "The best I could figure is that they wiggled it until it could pull straight out," said Hutchison.

It vanished while most people slept. "It's just sad," said Hutchison. Sad that someone would actually snatch a cross from another person's memorial site.

"I'm mad. It's ridiculous. The whole community pulled together for this family and done their part to help and then this happens," said Hutchison.

Part of the reason the cross was placed there was so that Builta's family and friends could visit, pay their respects and in some way feel closer to him.

"It's a 36-inch tall diamond plate aluminum cross with his name machined into," said Hutchison.

Here's a message to whoever stole the cross. "There would be no questions asked. We just want it back," said Hutchison. So that the cross can be placed back where it belongs.

Hutchison is confused why anyone would want it anyway since it has Officer Builta's name etched on it.

If you have the cross, please return it to any Colorado Springs police station. Or if you know who might have it, you can remain anonymous and call Crimestoppers at 634-STOP. Your information could also earn you a cash reward.

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  • by william d. Location: fountain on Aug 7, 2009 at 01:19 AM
    seriously, stop putting tombstones on our roads and i'll stop driving in your cemetaries...
  • by anon Location: colo springs on Aug 6, 2009 at 11:05 PM
    hey Cindy, i will vote no on your protection. So here is my take on this community, your ignorance is bliss, you take and give nothing, you ask for handouts when your hands are full and dont care about anything that does not affect you, but you choose to run your mouth about it. Here is the deal, some people will take from you, some will kill and steal and then you will be the one asking for help....if you dont have something nice to say, shut your mouth, its a good rule, follow it. Cindy, watch out for Karma, its a powerful thing
  • by clint Location: springs on Aug 6, 2009 at 06:48 PM
    Unfortunate to say, but possibly chickens coming home to roost. A shame that a man lost his life and all. But my guess would be that citizens have such distain for CSPD because of how they treat some of our citizens, and their overall thuggery and crooked practices that someone just took it for that reason. Maybe, people do not respect CSPD, or see the value of all the harassment that they so willingly bestow upon us. (blacks and mexicans) Or. maybe it was taken by a vampire, so that his vampire friends could freely pass through that intersection without the fear of death...When I die, just go ahead and slap a cross atop pikes peak! This way all the tourists can pay their respects and such. And, it will keep the vampires away! And, hey, why isn't CSPD arresting more vampires??
  • by britt Location: colorado springs on Aug 6, 2009 at 03:27 PM
    Ken, I like the way you think! You made some very good and valid points.
  • by Ken on Aug 6, 2009 at 07:19 AM
    No, LJ, if it was one of my family members, I would NOT erect a PERMANENT roadside memorial. I would respect the other people who live in the neighborhood. Conversely, I would like to see what would happen if the officer killed was openly gay or a Muslim. Would the city erect a "festive" memorial or put a 3 ft. Muslim religious symbol in the ground? Yeah, I bet that would happen. The same religious wack-jobs that are fighting to keep this memorial in place would be fighting to expunge that one. MOVE all memorials to the graveyard where they belong.
  • by LJ Location: Colorado Springs on Aug 5, 2009 at 03:25 PM
    I really didn't know there are some many negative people in Colorado Springs. You guys are very cruel and heartless. I bet if it was one of your family members things would totally be different. Have respect for others and their property ...
  • by chris Location: cs on Aug 4, 2009 at 02:23 PM
  • by cindy Location: c.s. on Aug 4, 2009 at 10:06 AM
    i do not believe the police should erect a cross anywhere they want. this sounds like an abuse of power to me. i will vote no on any police ballots measures from now on.
  • by Time After Time Location: CS on Aug 4, 2009 at 06:04 AM
    I agree with Tanya and Resident.If we were permitted to put a permanent 3 foot cross at every accident site, the streets would be full of crosses. This family needs to grieve in their own way, yes, but why not start a lobby to get a new law that would make motorcycle riders wear helmets. I am sorry that someone died, and I pray for the families. But why should the city pay for the city engineers to put the cross up and for the cross. Did you do that for officer Jensen who lost his life in the line of duty? Is there a 3 foot cross where he lost his life? And to the person Quinn in Peyton who made the remark "Hey lets get rid of all the monuments as they may be a destraction to someone. Maybe the next one will be the Firefighters Memorial at Memorial Park." Think before you type. This monument is at a park, not on the side of a city street. There is no comparison to this situation.
  • by Tanya Location: C/S on Aug 3, 2009 at 08:16 PM
    Come on people, the corner is not a memorial site, the graveyard is. Why do people feel they have the right to put crosses and flowers on a public street? I think the City needs to put an end to these roadside memorials. I personally don't want to see it.
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