2 Men Charged In Weekend Bb-gun Shooting Spree

April 03, 1991|By Maria Archangelo | Maria Archangelo,Staff writer

WESTMINSTER — State police charged two Hampstead men late Monday with malicious destruction of property and reckless endangerment in connection with a weekend BB-gun shooting spree.

Stanley Anthony Dobson, 23, and John Andrew Benedict Jr., 23, both of the 1200 block of North Main Street, were arrested and charged by Tfc. Chris Hannon.

Hannon said an anonymous tip to a Manchester police officer led him to investigate Dobson and Benedict.

A man approached the officer on Long Lane and said he saw a suspicious car drive by on Saturday night.

He said that after the car passed, he heard glass shatter.

The man wrote down the car's tag number, which he gave to state police Monday. Hannon said the car was registered to Dobson.

When the trooper went to Dobson's home, he saw the car parked in the driveway. There were several BBs in the back seat, Hannon said.

The BB gun was recovered later at Benedict's home, he said.

Dobson was charged with 10 counts of malicious destruction of property and two counts of reckless endangerment.

In addition, Benedict also was chargedwith two counts of assault and two counts of shooting into an occupied vehicle, Hannon said. All of the charges are misdemeanors, he said.

For each of the counts of malicious destruction, the men could receive a fine of up to $2,500 and three years in prison.

On the reckless endangerment counts, they could face up to a $5,000 fine and five years in jail.

There is no set sentence or fine for common-lawassault.

Both men were released Monday on $5,000 bond.

Residents and motorists in Hampstead and Manchester Saturday night told police that two white men traveling in a dark-colored car started the shooting spree about 6 p.m., police records show.

The passenger in the front seat of the car -- which reportedly had a tail light out and a loud exhaust system -- used a BB gun to shatter or puncture the windows of cars and homes in the area. At least 10 windows were damaged,Hannon said.

Many of the cars and homes were occupied at the timeof the shootings, he said.

The first shootings occurred between 6and 8 p.m. in the Manchester area, where a few cars on Main Street had their windows shattered, police said.

Moving cars on Route 30 and Route 27 had their rear windows shot out, Hannon said.

A home on Park Avenue in Manchester had a living-room window shattered, he said.

The trooper estimated the damage from the spree at $1,600.

Hannon said the case is a good example of how county residents can help police solve cases by being observant.

"If something looks suspicious, make a note of it," he said. "It may not turn out to be anything, but sometimes it can help us."

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