Police are seeking those responsible for a drive-by pumpkin missile spree in Delaware County last month and they believe the mayhem started when the giant orange-and-rotting squashes were stolen from a pumpkin dump.
Although much of the damage caused by the pumpkin missiles was to unattended cars, at least one man suffered severe facial injuries when a pumpkin went through his windshield and struck him in the face while he was driving. Now that man's family is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the delinquents responsible for the attack.
Around 11:30 p.m. on Dec. 1, the 29-year-old victim was driving on Baltimore Pike in Nether Providence when he saw a car driving fast past him and then heard a loud thud, said Nether Providence Det. Michael Erickson.
"The pumpkin went through the windshield and smashed him directly in the face and exploded," Erickson said.
A good Samaritan behind the victim stopped and called 911. When police arrived on scene, the victim could not see anything. He had suffered cuts all over his face and had glass in his eyes. He's now receiving intensive treatment and therapy for scratched corneas and blunt-force trauma to his eye socket, Erickson said.
Several days after the incident, Erickson learned that detectives in Norwood had a similar case that night where a pumpkin was thrown through the window of a parked car.
Upper Providence police and state police in Middletown had other incidents in the same time period that night too, Erickson said. Authorities believe in all the cases pumpkins were launched out of the open window of a moving vehicle. There is no description of pumpkin chuckers' car.
Police believe the culprits stole their unusual missiles from nearby Linvilla Orchards which had a large pumpkin dump where people could thrown their unwanted Halloween and Thanksgiving pumpkins, Erickson said.
"You always get the reports of kids throwing eggs, but this is a completely different story," he said. "This is absolutely ridiculous that this even happened."
The victim's family is offering a $500 reward for the arrest of the person or persons responsible. Anyone with information is urged to call Nether Providence police at 610-892-2875.