Man, boys charged in egg-throwing spree
STRASBURG – Police have charged a local man with a total of 71 counts linked to a spree of egg-chucking vandalism in the town through much of the summer.
Police Chief Tim Sutherly said the defendant, Matthew Ryan Winstead, 26, drove as four boys, ages 13 to 15 years old, threw eggs at residences and vehicles throughout the town and nearby areas in July, August and September.
“It’s the most we’ve had by any one group in recent memory,” Sutherly said of the number of vandalism charges. “What makes it most unusual is that there was an adult with the kids.”
Sutherly said Madison Heights was the hardest hit area. Information obtained during the investigation has been passed on to the Sheriff’s Office for follow-up in its jurisdiction, Sutherly said.
Most of the incidents did not involve permanent damage to the targeted property.
“More times than not, if they were able to discover it right away, they were able to wash it out,” Sutherly said of the victims.
Sutherly said the crimes were committed as Winstead drove the four boys to their targets. The boys would leave the vehicle after it stopped, throw the eggs at their targets and return to the vehicle.
Sutherly said Winstead and the boys bought the eggs from stores in town.
Winstead, who has been charged with 34 counts each of vandalism and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, was also charged with three counts of child endangerment.
Sutherly said the child endangerment charges stemmed from incidents in which one of the boys would lean out the window of the vehicle while it was moving.
Winstead has been released from jail on a $1,500 bond. Sutherly said charges against the boys have been referred to the county’s juvenile diversion program.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org