Sunday, May 20, 2018
Public safety

Police credit Walmart clerk's tip with catching Bayshore egg tossers

TAMPA — When a Walmart clerk heard Monday that a teen had been badly injured by an egging along Bayshore Boulevard, she thought of a sale the previous night.

A 16-year-old boy had bought several dozen eggs at the Gandy Boulevard store, not far from the egging. The clerk called police.

What followed was a speedy sequence of events, fueled by quick police work and an uncanny coincidence, to solve the case.

After getting the tip, two officers drove to the Walmart to watch surveillance video. They viewed the purchase, then watched a recording of the same teen climbing into a sport utility vehicle.

It was a white SUV, like witnesses had spotted about 10 p.m. Sunday on Bayshore Boulevard near Carolina Avenue. And it had a distinguishing mark: a Jesuit High School decal on the rear window.

As the officers drove back to their district office, they spotted a white SUV with a Jesuit sticker — a coincidence that surprised even police.

They pulled over the SUV and noticed the remains of splattered raw egg on its exterior.

Inside sat four teenage boys. One, police say, had nothing to do with the Sunday night egging that severely damaged 17-year-old Noah Grant's eye as he jogged with several Robinson High School cross-country teammates.

The other three young men admitted to it, said Tampa police Lt. Mary O'Connor.

"They said they had been doing this for a while," she said.

They seemed remorseful and said they didn't mean to hurt anyone, O'Connor said.

Grant said Monday that the egg felt like a rocketing soda can. Police estimate the SUV was traveling about 45 mph. If the egg was thrown the same direction as the vehicle's path, it could have been traveling at least 50 mph, O'Connor said.

It broke a bone near Grant's eye, bruised it and caused two cuts, a report from an emergency room doctor states.

Grant was expecting to see an ophthalmologist on Tuesday. The family declined to give an update, citing an attorney's advice.

Daniel Borgeson, 17, Patrick Wasp, 16, and Tyler Metzger, 16, all of South Tampa, each face a third-degree felony battery charge. They were taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center on Monday and later released.

Now, they're under home arrest, which means they can leave only for approved reasons, including work and school.

Metzger is a freshman at Robinson, where Grant also goes to school. School district officials don't plan their own discipline against Metzger because it doesn't appear Grant was targeted.

The other two young men — Borgeson and Wasp — just finished their sophomore years at Jesuit High School, an all-male private Catholic school, said principal Barry Neuberger.

Neuberger said Jesuit has a code of conduct that "lays out procedures for matters like this." He said it would be handled internally, but wouldn't elaborate.

"It's very upsetting, and my thoughts and prayers go out to (Grant) and his family," Neuberger said.

None of the teens had a criminal record in Florida before this. They are being charged as juveniles, though that could change.

Like the adult justice system, the juvenile system offers diversion programs for minors. When deciding whether a particular defendant qualifies, the court takes into account his or her arrest history and the type of charge.

Just because a defendant is being charged as a juvenile doesn't necessarily mean he or she will received a light sentence — or that the charges will be dropped — said Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office spokesman Mark Cox, speaking generally about the juvenile justice system.

"It's decided on a case-by-case basis," Cox said.

And though this incident is the only case with which the three boys have been charged, police think the teens have been throwing eggs out of the SUV's window for weeks.

It's a familiar sight to Bayshore joggers and bikers. Some recall similar, though less damaging, incidents dating back decades.

Kevin Napper of Tampa remembers getting hit in the chest by an egg while jogging one night about 15 years ago. It left a big welt.

"I didn't think of it as a prank," Napper said Tuesday. "I thought of it as really annoying and dangerous."

Times news researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3433.

Comments
Family, friends recall shooting victims’ optimism, humor

Family, friends recall shooting victims’ optimism, humor

SANTA FE, Texas — A 17-year-old student looking forward to celebrating his family's new swimming pool and a substitute teacher whose home frequently hosted family gatherings were among the 10 people killed in a mass shooting at a Texas high sch...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Burglary suspect jumps into Hillsborough canal to escape deputies, officials say

Burglary suspect jumps into Hillsborough canal to escape deputies, officials say

TAMPA — After a botched burglary, a fleeing suspect jumped into a canal to escape deputies Saturday afternoon, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.The person has not yet been identified. The suspect tried to break into a business on...
Published: 05/19/18
Cuba: 110 died in plane crash, 3 survivors ‘critical’

Cuba: 110 died in plane crash, 3 survivors ‘critical’

HAVANA — The only three survivors of Cuba’s worst aviation disaster in three decades were clinging to life Saturday, a day after their passenger jet crashed in a fireball in Havana’s rural outskirts with 113 people on board. In the first official dea...
Published: 05/19/18
He lured young men looking for weed. Their bodies turned up in a pig roaster.

He lured young men looking for weed. Their bodies turned up in a pig roaster.

Cosmo DiNardo declared "I am a savage no explanation needed" on social media seven months before police say he lured four young men to his family’s farm, shot them to death, ran one of them over with a backhoe and dumped three of their bodies in a pi...
Published: 05/19/18
Off-duty Largo firefighter arrested on DUI charge

Off-duty Largo firefighter arrested on DUI charge

DUNEDIN — Pinellas County sheriff’s deputies arrested an off-duty Largo firefighter found asleep at the wheel shortly after 4 a.m. Saturday.Patrol deputies saw a 2013 Dodge Dart, facing west and stopped in the intersection of Main Street and Bass Bou...
Published: 05/19/18
After Texas school shooting, Tampa Bay officials will step up security

After Texas school shooting, Tampa Bay officials will step up security

Hours after Friday’s deadly school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, bay area law enforcement officials pledged to beef up school security for the last remaining days of the school year.Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister held a news conference late Frid...
Published: 05/18/18
Largo police seek person of interest linked to missing man

Largo police seek person of interest linked to missing man

LARGO — Police are searching for a person of interest in the January disappearance of a 24-year-old man.The missing man is Timothy Patrick Cullen, 24, who Largo police said was last seen Jan. 22 at his home in the 500 block of Seventh Ave NE. His veh...
Published: 05/18/18
Pasco man accused of abusing 3-month-old infant

Pasco man accused of abusing 3-month-old infant

BAYONET POINT — A 26-year-old man was arrested Thursday on a charge of aggravated child abuse and accused of fracturing an infant’s skull, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.Brandon Scott Madrishin told deputies that a 3-month-old infant ...
Published: 05/18/18
20 years later, Hank Earl Carr’s victims are still loved and remembered

20 years later, Hank Earl Carr’s victims are still loved and remembered

When her school bus pulled up to her house that day, Ashley Bell spotted her mom’s car in the driveway and wondered why it was there. A 14-year-old latchkey kid, Bell usually got home before her mother Carolyn arrived from her job as a nurse at St. J...
Published: 05/18/18
Teen held in Texas attack is said to have used father’s guns

Teen held in Texas attack is said to have used father’s guns

SANTA FE, Texas — The Texas student charged in the school shooting at Santa Fe High School posted an image on Facebook of himself wearing a "Born to Kill" shirt and used his father’s shotgun and pistol in the attack that left 10 dead and 10 wounded, ...
Published: 05/18/18