Man accused of burning ‘USA Biden Harris 2020’ hay bales display held without bail

News

DALTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A judge ordered a Massachusetts man accused of burning a display of hay bales supporting Joe Biden’s presidential campaign held without bail under the state’s dangerousness statute. 

The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office said they successfully argued the actions of 49-year-old Lonnie Durfee made him a risk to the public noting, “Our number one job is to protect the public. This ruling keeps a dangerous person from potentially causing additional harm to members of our community.” 

The Holiday Brook Farm in Dalton created the display of hay bales and wrote “USA Biden Harris 2020” on them. The display was placed along Route 9 for vehicles driving by to see.

Officers determined the bales were purposely set on fire on October 9 and later arrested Durfee. He has been charged with burning personal property. 

“I thank Judge Smyth for his thoughtful consideration of the facts we presented in making his determination. Mr. Durfee’s record shows that he has engaged in a pattern of domestic violence, including strangulation, a strong indicator of potential lethality,” said District Attorney Andrea Harrington. “Mr. Durfee’s recent arson allegations are particularly concerning in light of his violent history because he is escalating his hostility against the public at large.” 

The display has since been replaced.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.