WILTON MANORS, FLA. (WSVN) - - A string of eggings in Wilton Manors has sent police on a different kind of egg hunt.
With Easter right around the corner, eggs become very popular at community events, but police said the person or people responsible for the hard boiled mischief aren’t using them for garden hunts. Instead, officials said, the pranksters are throwing them at patrons walking down Wilton Drive.
Residents said they value their city’s LGBT-friendly mix of small town atmosphere and big city amenities, but now patrons sitting outside in bars and restaurants have become targets of yolk-filled projectiles.
“Since April 2nd, our city has seen over five instances of an individual throwing eggs from vehicles,” said Wilton Manors Police Cmdr. Gary Blocker.
Alex Haywood, the owner of Wilton Drive restaurant Mind Your Manors, said his diners have been egged. “A couple of times they hit a customer of mine, one standing at the bar, one just walking down the street, and I know other establishments have been hit as well,” he said.
Haywood said this is more serious than a silly, immature prank. “There was an anti-homosexual slur yelled, which gave a different spin on the situation,” he said.
The possibility of the eggings being hate crimes have police stepping up patrols. “We want to identify the intent behind these crimes to determine whether or not these crimes are motivated by a dislike of our LGBT community,” said Blocker.
If the perpetrator or perpetrators are caught, police said, they will face some serious charges, including aggravated battery, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
“Anytime hate manifests itself, it’s unfortunate, and it’s sad,” said Mind Your Manors customer Dennis St. Jean.
7News cameras captured brisk business along Wilton Drive on Friday. Patrons said they are not afraid, and they plan to continue to come out and support local businesses.
“Love wins, always,” said St. Jean.
If you have any information on these eggings, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.
Copyright 2017 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.