Fenton, Missouri – In this small town of 4,000 people close to the Illinois border, a young couple have been arrested and charged with third-degree felony assault. The attack seems to have been the result of an indiscriminate drive-by shooting at the local fast-food chain called “Lion’s Choice”. The restaurant is a competitor to Arby’s and sells roast beef sandwiches which it touts are always ready to eat. Well, in mid-February, a vehicle described as a black-colored SUV, passed through the drive-through lane without making an order. As the car pulled up to the window, Stephanie Winkler, age 22, fired a single shot from a nerf dart gun at the employee as her boyfriend Mark Applebaum, age 26, sped off.
Police were able to use the surveillance camera footage to identify the couple who have now been arrested. Winkler faces a third-degree assault charge. Her boyfriend is also charged with third-degree assault. The charges are misdemeanors but can carry a penalty of one to fifteen days in county jail and a fine of up to $300. While the amount of jail time is not significant, it is long enough for either of them to lose their employment.
Obviously, the police are taking the matter seriously. They acknowledge the weapon used in the crime was a mere toy. However, they state that optic trauma can result if the plastic tipped nerf dart were to strike the eye. Also, the mere act of instilling a fear of injury in another person is sufficient to constitute a third-degree assault charge even if no object is used to strike the victim. Both Winkler and Applebaum will appear before a judge on April 14. Three years ago, a seven-year-old boy was arrested in Hammonton, New Jersey, for bringing his nerf gun to school. In short, keep the toys at home.
stephanie winkler mark applebaum arrested
7 Year Old Boy Arrested for Shooting Nerf-style Toy Gun to Hammonton, NJ, School