By DAN TOMASELLO
LYNNFIELD — Town officials condemned racist graffiti that was discovered at the Beaver Dam Brook Reservation last week.
Town Administrator Rob Dolan, Police Chief Nick Secatore, Select Board Chairman Phil Crawford, and Select Board members Joe Connell and Dick Dalton announced in a joint statement that a “group of civic-minded residents” and DPW employees discovered the “racist and inappropriate graffiti” while removing trash and other debris from the Beaver Dam Brook Reservation.
“The Police Department investigated and documented the graffiti,” the town officials stated. “We once again wish to state that racism and hate have no place in our community and an incident targeting one neighbor is an attack on all of us and the Lynnfield community values we hold dear.”
Town officials also noted that the residents and DPW employees located a barbecue grill at Beaver Dam Brook, which they noted, “Could cause a fire hazard in the conservation area.”
“Also found at the site were makeshift benches, with wooden planks set over tree trunks,” the town officials continued. “The town’s conservation areas are meant to be enjoyed by all, but are not to be used as gathering places after dark. Those who see suspicious or dangerous activity in conservation areas should immediately call the Police Department at 781-334-3131.”
There have been a number of racist and anti-Semitic incidents that have occurred in town over the past three years. A spray-painted swastika, the name “Hitler” and an obscene image of male genitalia were discovered on the back of a shed at Glen Meadow Park in July 2021.
Racist graffiti was discovered on a stream crossing in the Beaver Dam Brook Reservation in June 2020. There were several residents who had their Black Lives Matter signs stolen and property vandalized in the summer and fall of 2020. A group of eighth-graders called two children the “N-word” at MarketStreet in June 2021.
Secatore informed the Villager in an email that Summer Street residents Joshua Simpson and Stephen Smith both pled guilty in November 2021 to “various charges in court” related to acts of racially motivated vandalism at a Summer Street family’s home in the summer and fall of 2020.
“Among other charges they pled guilty to property damage to intimidate which is the charge that falls under Civil Rights violations (hate crimes),” Secatore wrote. “They were not put in prison. They were given probation among other conditions. Stephen Smith was held for a period of time following his arrest.”
The Beaver Dam Brook Reservation consists of over 56 acres of conservation land and 137 acres of land owned by the town of Lynnfield. The conservation area also abuts open space property owned by the Lynnfield Center Water District. People can access the Beaver Dam Brook Reservation at the rear of Centre Market, 588 Main St., or from Trog Hawley. The land, which contains Beaver Dam Brook, forms much of the watershed and recharge areas for the LCWD’s well fields. The reservation is also a Groundwater Protection Overlay District.