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A Massachusetts farm's pro-Biden/Harris display went up in flames only a day after it was assembled, according to reports.
Local farmers assembled the display on Thursday using bales of hay to create a massive sign across the street from Holiday Brook Farms, with a letter painted on each bale to spell out “USA – Vote Biden Harris 2020,” Boston 25 News reported.
The sign only stood for a day before someone set the display on fire. A police investigation led to the arrest of Lonnie Durfee, charging him with burning personal property in the incident.
This Friday, Oct. 9, 2020 photo provided by Megan Whilden shows a stack of hay bales that were painted to show support for the Democratic presidential ticket in Dalton, Mass. A stack of hay bales on a western Massachusetts farm that were painted to show support for the Democratic presidential ticket went up in flames, and one man has been arrested in connection with the blaze, authorities said. (Megan Whilden via AP)
Dicken Crane, one of the residents who helped assemble the sign, said locals residents constructed a sign that would be theft-proof since supporters in the area complained about their own Biden-Harris signs disappearing.
“We expected there might be some vandalism, but we never expected somebody would douse it with gasoline and set it on fire,” said Crane. “It was very worrisome somebody would set those bales on fire, you had to wonder whether he would be willing to set a barn on fire.”
This Friday, Oct. 9, 2020 photo provided by Megan Whilden shows a stack of hay bales that were painted to show support for the Democratic presidential ticket on fire in Dalton, Mass. The unusual political display at Holiday Brook Farm in Dalton featured 19 hay bales that were wrapped and painted with the words: USA and VOTE along with the names of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris. (Megan Whilden via AP)
Crane thanked the police for moving so swiftly to identify the alleged perpetrator.
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"You don't ever expect it to happen in your backyard and you certainly don't expect it to happen in Dalton,” Kate Pike, a farmer at Holiday Brook, told WNYT News.
“I actually was driving home and saw that it had been vandalized, so I pulled over to see what kind of vandalism had been done to it,” Pike said.
“It looked like someone had poured something that looked kind of like coffee all over it, so I actually stopped and took a picture. It looked like kind of graffiti on it and [police] were able to use the timestamp of that photograph."
Officials later told Pike that the substance she saw was believed to be motor oil. Investigators believe that Durfee failed to set the oil on fire, and returned after Pike departed to try again with gasoline.
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The investigation is ongoing in conjunction with the Dalton Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police Fire Marshall’s office, according to News 10 ABC.
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