Norwell man's driveway vandalized, claims he was targeted for political beliefs

NORWELL, Mass. — After a symbol of hate was painted on the driveway of a Norwell home, the community rallied around the homeowner proving that those who disagree politically can come together to combat hate.

There's no trace of the swastika on the driveway now thanks to a group of strangers who saw what had happened on Grove Street in Norwell and offered to help.

It's hard to miss Mark Merrifield's home on Grove Street.

"My brother recently passed away and he was a veteran and his memorial is here," Merrifield said.

Merrifield proudly displays his political beliefs, and he believes that, on Friday night, he was targeted for them.

"I heard shouting and vulgar homophobic slurs about the president and myself, so I came down to investigate and I found a swastika on my driveway,” he said. "The symbol of hate, it hurt me bone-deep."

The spray-painted swastika remained on his driveway for days, which didn't sit well with Miene Smith.

"I went through the weekend and then saw it again on Sunday and was kind of disturbed that no one was really reaching out to help," Smith said.

So she stopped by Merrifield's house and asked if he needed help. Merrifield is on a fixed income and graciously accepted the offer.

Related: Police report: Slash attack stemmed from parking lot confrontation

"So me, my son, my daughter, my mom, my friend, a couple friends all went there this morning and we brought chemicals and scrub brushes and power washers and got as much off as we could," Smith said.

"They spent two hours removing the graffiti," Merrifield said.

She said that she hopes this is a teaching moment for her daughters to help others, even if you disagree with their beliefs.

"I was really thankful that I could be there to be help him," Kylie Smith said.

"If someone wrongs someone else, you show up and you teach your kids to show up and make it right," Miene Smith said. "And one little thing made it right for this man, and that’s all that matters, and the hate is gone now – the hate’s washed away."

Merrifield did file a report with Norwell Police. He does have some cameras on his property. But this did not catch the vandals.

A veterans group offered to help him install better cameras to better protect his property.