A Dalton man accused of setting fire to hay bales that had been painted with a political message told an officer he burned the sign because he "disagreed with the political stance it represented," according to a police report.

The Berkshire Eagle reported that Lonnie Durfee, 49, told police he used motor oil and gasoline to torch the hay structure, which spelled out the names "Biden" and "Harris," the report said. He also admitted to burning a Biden/Harris sign recently outside a home in his neighborhood.

He told police he was sorry for his actions and offered to pay for the damages, estimated at about $2,000, according to the report, prepared by Dalton Police Sgt. Christopher Furlong.

He also said he was distraught over the recent death of his son in a motorcycle crash in New Jersey.

First Assistant District Attorney Richard Dohoney told The Eagle that the state will press for a dangerousness hearing, noting that Durfee has a history of assaultive behavior. He was arrested in June 2014 in Pittsfield on charges of assault and battery, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest. The circumstances of that arrest were unclear.

The incident occurred Friday evening at Holiday Brook Farm. Dicken Crane, the owner of Holiday Brook Farm, said he was running a tractor in a nearby field, baling hay around 6:30 p.m.

On one pass, the massive bales with their message supporting the Democratic ticket of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris stacked three high in places were fine.

“When I turned around again, it was ablaze,”

No one was hurt in the fire, which for a time forced travel delays on Route 9.

For more information on this story go to the Berkshire Eagle

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