DALTON (CBS) – A western Massachusetts farm owner, targeted for his political message, has a new display after his first, backing Joe Biden, was lit on fire.
“We expected some vandalism, some spray paint, but we did not expect for it be set on fire,” said Dicken Crane from his Dalton farm on Monday.
Crane and his siblings own Holiday Brook Farm. The fourth-generation farm is a Dalton landmark, known for its organic meats and fresh produce.
Last Thursday, the Berkshire County farmer and a group of his employees stacked 19 oversized hay bales, on farmland alongside Route 9, and painted them to read: “Biden-Harris 2020.”
A day later it was set ablaze. Moments before it happened, one of Crane’s employees noticed a brown liquid on the bales.
“The person that did it, he was bragging about it. [He] had thrown motor oil all over the bales. He couldn’t get the motor oil to light, so he left to go get gasoline,” said Crane. “He came back, and threw the gas on, and lit it.”
Lonnie Durfee, 49, of Dalton, was arrested a short time later. Dalton Police said he’s been charged with burning personal property and will be arraigned Tuesday in Central Berskhire District Court.
Crane and his crew have since rebuilt the sign. This time it reads: “Love, Unity, Respect.”
“There’s a bail that says ‘vote,’ and there’s an American flag, and a globe,” Crane said. “Hopefully it helps people look for what brings us together, rather than what splits us apart.”