NATICK, Mass. (CNN) – A gay couple in Massachusetts fell victim to a potential hate crime after finding their home vandalized on Sunday.
Their neighborhood wasn’t going to stand for it though.
Cari and Lauri Ryding put up a flag like this after the mass shooting in Orlando. They came home from vacation, and it was gone.
Cari Ryding: “Lauri noticed our whole front of our house had been egged.”
Lauri Ryding: “Heartbreak. How could this to happen in our neighborhood?”
Cari Ryding: “It’s just a mess.”
Lauri Ryding: “For anybody to do this to anybody?”
Cari Ryding: “It really is hard to feel someone hates you.”
The married couple has lived in this Natick neighborhood for years. A neighborhood where they felt accepted.
“I don’t want this to happen to anybody else. Is it just vandalism? Is it a hate crime? Is it just pranksters,” said Lauri.
So they filed a police report fearing the vandals might come back but it’s what neighbors did that made them feel safe. One by one families put up their own flags. Now roughly 2/3rd of homes here have one.
“The first thing when I heard about it. Alright, I’m going to put up a flag. We should all put up flags,” said neighbor Maura Gaughan.
Neighbor Liz Mazzola said, “The ages of 5 to 16. They were all out on their bikes for over an hour delivering the flags.”
Cari Ryding: “It’s wild. Just fill up with tears driving down the street.”
Lauri Ryding: “Can’t speak.”
Cari Ryding: “It’s overwhelming. It’s overwhelming, the support.”
A strong message from a neighborhood united.
“If people want to do that, they’re just not going to be welcome in our neighborhood, and I hope this is a good sign to that,” said neighbor David Mangan.