Dalton Man Arraigned for Hay Bale Fire
49-year-old , of Dalton, was arraigned Tuesday on a charge of burning personal property. The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office requested that the court hold Durfee as a danger to the community. Judge Paul Smyth scheduled a dangerousness hearing for Friday.
This is a sad reflection of the vast polarization in our country and in the Berkshires. We believe Mr. Durfee destroyed personal property because he disagreed with the property owner’s political views. Our community will not accept those types of actions under any circumstances…We will hold Mr. Durfee accountable and I hope the community uses this incident as a rallying cry to reject fervent divisiveness and hate. ~ District Attorney Andrea Harrington
The Commonwealth accuses Durfee of using gasoline and motor oil to set fire to hay bales displaying support for the Biden/Harris presidential campaign on Holiday Brook Farm on Friday, October 9, 2020. Dalton Police, State Police, and the Fire Marshal’s Officer determined someone had intentionally lit the fire and the investigation ultimately led Dalton Police to arrest Mr. Durfee on Saturday morning.
The Berkshire Eagle is reporting that according to the Dalton Police report, in the hour before he admits he burned a political message he deplored, Durfee stopped at a convenience store in Dalton. He told another shopper he planned to set fire to hay bales across from Holiday Brook Farm that had been painted with an endorsement of the Biden-Harris presidential ticket.
The Eagle also reported Wednesday that he told the same thing to people inside Paddy’s, which is a Dalton bar. And police would apparently later learn, it wasn’t the first time he’d burned a political sign this year.