Plymouth Officials Praise Community Response Following Vandalism

PLYMOUTH – Town officials in Plymouth are praising the community for its overwhelming support following the vandalism of its most well-known landmark.

Plymouth Rock and other structures were found covered in red spray paint Monday.

Town public works and state department of conservation and recreation crews responded quickly, according to Town Manager Melissa Arrighi.

“Sometimes when you tackle this early on the success is greater if you can get to that paint as soon as possible,” she said.

Many residents offered to help volunteer with the cleanup.

“The superintendent of schools was going to put together some school children and parents to help us, in addition to – I can’t even [count] how many people reached out to me from the community who wanted to help,” she said.

Arrighi said the community has shown a real love for Plymouth.

“[On social media] you see a lot of comments that may not necessarily be nice, but when something happens everybody rallies and we become one community together again and everybody is willing to pitch in and help,” she said.

Jake Mowles, the owner of East Coast Powerwashing and veteran, helped with the cleanup.

“He had the real expertise. He jumped right in and did quite a bit of the work,” Arrighi said. “And that made a difference, I think, for all of us.”

Chemical treatments will be required on some of the structures, including Plymouth Rock.

“The rock still needs a little bit of help,” Arrighi said.

There is still a light red film of paint over the back of the rock, the part closest to the ocean.

“The DCR park as well as outside assistance will work hard to get that clean again,” Arrighi said.

Arrighi said she went through a range of emotions when she heard about the incident and saw the damage.

“At first you are just outraged. There is some disbelief,” she said. “You can get both furious and sick a little bit. It is really sad that somebody cares so little about important structures in the town and public property in general.”

Police continue to investigate the incident. Even though most of the paint has been cleaned up, Arrighi wants to see justice served.

“We want to find out who is responsible for this and prosecute them,” she said.

Arrighi would not comment on the investigation or if any suspects were caught on surveillance.

“We don’t want to say what we have available for cameras and locations, but it will be part of the overall investigation that anything that is available will be reviewed,” she said.

The vandalism comes during a year that will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the landing of the Mayflower Pilgrims.

Arrighi said the investigation will determine whether the rock was targeted because of the upcoming celebration.

“In reality it doesn’t matter,” she said. “Anybody who would do anything like this at any time whether it is in a year that isn’t a celebration or it’s in a year that is [being celebrated], it is wrong on so many levels.”

Arrighi is asking anyone with any information regarding the vandalism to contact police.

“We have to make sure that somebody is held responsible for these terrible actions,” she said.

Arrighi also thanked everyone who offered to help with the cleanup effort and expressed support for the community.

About Brian Merchant

Brian Merchant grew up in Central Massachusetts and now lives in South Dennis on the Cape. He has been part of the news team in the NewsCenter since the spring of 2014. He studied radio broadcasting at the University of Tennessee.
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