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Man makes signs to encourage kindness after alleged hate crime in Wellsville

Posted at 7:55 PM, Nov 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-15 16:16:23-05

Fresh black paint surrounds a dugout in Quackenbush Field in Wellsville, where less than a week ago, a softball field dugout was defaced with the phrase "Make America White Again" accompanied by a spray-painted swastika.

"It was very out of character for Wellsville," said Mason Sorensen, who has been a resident of Wellsville for 30 years. "Very sad... but the community dealt well with it."

The community, trying to deal with the shock of this hate crime. Freddy Fredrickson has lived near the Village of Wellsville for 36 years. 

"I wanted to do something, I wanted to do it in a positive way," said Fredrickson.

So he made his own spray painted signs, that read "Make America Kind Again".

"Wellsville is not deserving of the reputation that they've just gotten nationwide," said Fredrickson. "It's a loving community, a caring community, and a kind community."

Fredrickson says he drew a safety pin on each sign because it's a symbol of solidarity towards oppressed people.

"It's typically exhibited by people that are white, that they are sympathetic to the plight of oppressed people," he said.

Fredrickson placed the three signs throughout the Village.

"It's really designed to get people to act in a caring and kind manner," Fredrickson said. "I think if that's expected of people, perhaps we'll all rise to it."

"They should be on every block!" said Cassie Hawley, another Wellsville resident.

While the signs stand, Village police, State police, and the State Division of Human Rights, are working together to find a suspect in connection to the act of vandalism.

"Following the Governor's orders yesterday, the Wellsville police is now working with the State police, B.C.I., and attempting to develop a lead," said Tim O'Grady, Village Chief of Police.

Governor Andrew Cuomo stating a full investigation is in place for this "deplorable act".

If you have any information on the case, Wellsville Police is asking you contact them at (585) 593-5600.