Community rallies around local cafe after pride flag stolen, building vandalized

CANTON, MASS. (WHDH) - A local cafe has seen a show of support after being vandalized.

Police say the Neponset Cafe on Washington Street was vandalized either late Sunday night or early Monday morning when a rainbow pride flag, which was flying for pride month, was stolen from outside the building.

The owner of the cafe said the flag had been pulled down, resulting in some damage to the store’s siding.

“Why? You know, who the hell would want to do that?” asked co-owner Don Titus. “And that was it. I called my sister and I said, ‘Donna, they took the flag, they tore it down, and tore the vinyl siding down, and threw my plant on the ground also.'”

Titus co-owns the restaurant with his two sisters, one of whom is openly gay.’

“It’s not about me, okay,” Donna Titus said. “I was just really upset because I couldn’t believe that somebody would vandalize the building and tear the flag down…God knows why. They obviously still have issues.”

Several business owners in the area had put up pride flags as part of pride month. Not long after the story was reported, someone walking by put another pride flag in the flower pot outside the store — just another part of the outpouring of support from the community. A new flag is already flying in place of the stolen flag after a local doctor donated a replacement.

It’s a sign of how times have changed

“I was in the closet when I first started working here,” Donna Titus said, “because it’s my parents’ business and I didn’t want to lose customers.”

Now she says the messages of support she’s received have been overwhelming.

“I couldn’t believe all the reaction I got from the Canton people,” she said. “Actually I was crying through the whole thing…it was nice.”

Anyone with information about the vandalism is urged to call Canton police at 781-828-1212 or leave a tip at CantonPolice.com.