Watch CBS News

Some Humarock Residents Discuss Seceding From Scituate In Bonfire Dispute

SCITUATE (CBS) - The anger hasn't subsided in Humarock after 4th of July celebrations were cut short due to safety concerns.

The neighborhood met Sunday morning to plan their next move in a quarrel with the Town of Scituate.

Nearly 100 people attended a meeting at the South Humarock Civic Association Clubhouse. At the meeting, some residents went so far as to call Scituate town officials "Fascists," and say Humarock needs to break away.

The latest aggravation began earlier this month, when residents claim the town was heavy-handed in enforcing a ban on bonfires.

"That was a full military operation… I mean hummers up and down the beach, state police helicopters, horseback, bomb squad, [and] a command post up the center," said Fred Hayden, who owns a summer home in Humarock.

Scituate Fires
Fires ripped through several beach-front homes in Scituate on Thursday.

Bonfires are a tradition on the beach, but after a fast-moving fire burned through four homes in March, Scituate shut them down for public safety reasons.

During Independence Day celebrations on July 3, State Police troopers were called in to help maintain order in the mostly senior-citizen community. A 70-year-old man says they used excessive force when arresting him, leaving his arms bruised and wrists bleeding.

"Every time they talk to you it's in a threatening fashion," long-time resident Emory Langlolies said during Sunday's meeting.

Langlolies described his experience with law enforcement on the 3rd as overkill. He claims he was playing patriotic music when town officials marched onto his private property and unplugged his stereo. Langlolies says an officer then crushed the plug to keep him from starting the music again.

"They told my wife, 'we're going to come back to clean this mess up. We're going to charge you $300 an hour and we're going to take our time doing it,'" Langlolies recounted.

"What's occurring down here is a slow deterioration of our constitutional rights," said another Humarock resident speaking at the meeting.

Humarock residents claim the problems didn't start with the bonfire ban.

Humarock, Scituate
Some Humarock residents are discussing seceding from Scituate over a number of disputes.

"The sidewalks haven't been fixed. There's potholes in the roads. They're not even trimming the bushes back from the sidewalk so you have to walk out into the street," said Hayden. "They're just not giving us any services. We're like a donor community for Scituate."

Typical of the Bay State's revolutionary spirit, Humarock taxpayers are asking for more representation at the Town Council. When a group attended a meeting of the Town's Selectmen on July 10, they were not permitted to speak. Now they plan to write letters to town officials, as well as complaints to the State Police, the Attorney General, and Governor Deval Patrick.

"People are fed up with the town of Scituate. They do absolutely nothing for us," said Dick Sparks.

Sparks has been urging his neighbors to secede from Scituate for 15 years. A new town hasn't formed in the Bay State in almost a century, but the idea is gaining traction in Humarock.

The group will spend the week revising their letters. They plan to meet next Sunday at 10 a.m. to sign them and discuss longer term solutions for their problems with Scituate.

WBZ-TV reached out to three town selectmen and the Scituate Police Chief on Sunday to get their side of the story. Joseph Norton, Chairman of the Town Council, said there would be no comment from the Town of Scituate.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.