Two Dearys of Harpswell Accused of Civil Rights Violations by AG Frey


AG Aaron M. Frey

William Deary, 49, and Hayden Deary, 18, both of Harpswell, have had a civil rights complaint filed against them in Superior Court in Portland according to a press release issued this afternoon by Attorney General Aaron Frey.  The complaint alleges that on or about January 7, 2024, the Dearys vandalized road signs and roadways in Harpswell Bruncwick, Bath and Topsham with antisemitic ad racist phrases and symbols.

In particular, the Dearys spray-painted the phrase “Gas Jews” on an intersection in Harpswell and on the pillars supporting an overpass at Route 1 in Bath.  They spray-painted swatikas on signs at locations along Gurnet Road and on the Cook’s Corner Exit sign in Brunswick.  In Bath, the swastika graffiti included the numbers 88 and 14.  As defendant Hayden Deary later told the investigating officers, the number ’88’ means “Heil Hitler.”  According to the complaint, the number “14” further represents white supermacist and racist ideology.

The antdisemitic messages caused the members of a synagogue in Bath to be concerned for their safety.  An armed police officer has been posted in the synagogue during Hebrew School in response to the antisemitic messages and symbols.  In addition, the Dearys vandalized a road sign with a racial epithet a short distance from the Cook’s Corner area in Brunswick, where asylum seekers are being housed.

:These words and symbols are, defaming public property, clearly designed to make people in our community feel unwelcome and unsafe,” said AG Frey.  “This behavior by faather and son Deary is shocking and reprenehsible.  My Office will use the statutory authority provided to confront their bias-based threats.”  The complaint requests the court to prohibit the Dearys from vandalizing public or private property with the intent to broadcast racist or antisemitic messages.