It’s Friday afternoon, so here’s the heartwarming story of a dumb guy who did stupid things, put them online, and now faces serious legal ramifications for his actions. As The Smoking Gun reports, 21 year-old aspiring comedian/actor Daron Stinson “and an accomplice drove around filming themselves as they accosted pedestrians.” Accosted how?
In a video uploaded February 15, Stinson points a gun at a man salting a snowy sidewalk and demands that the 52-year-old victim put the salt in the car’s trunk. A caption on the video cautions, “Please don’t try this it’s very dangerous poor old head make him waste all that good salt.”
Police say that Stinson brandished a pellet gun during the videotaped confrontations, which are filled with profanity and racial epithets.
Additional Instagram clips show Stinson pointing the weapon at other individuals and, in several cases, firing the pellet gun as victims scattered. In the background, Stinson and accused cohort Courtland Gilliam, 19, can be heard laughing at the panicked pedestrians.
Police officers in Philadelphia didn’t think it was particularly funny, and hit Stinson, who was probably very easy to identify thanks to the videos, with “a variety of felony charges”, including “aggravated assault, robbery, making terroristic threats, and reckless endangerment”. He’s being held on $125,000 bond, and while we won’t post them here, you can see the videos on his still-up
Instagram page. As NBC Philadelphia reports, a comment posted by Stinson on one of the videos outlines his motivation:
“All of this is jokes,” the comment read. “I’m not out here really robbing people. I’m not out here really shooting people. I could be doing that. That’s the s**t I’m trying to leave behind.”
It’s unlikely that any judge will see this as amusing: the law school definition of assault is (loosely, it’s been a while) putting someone in an imminent apprehension of harm, and one video shows a panicked lady trying to run and falling on an icy sidewalk. The firearm makes it aggravated, and that’s just one of the charges. Perhaps even worse, his father is disappointed in him:
“He considers it funny,” Rodney Stinson said. “He does a lot of other things. Nothing with the gun is funny. Nothing. I don’t consider it funny.”
We’ll aim to keep you posted as this case develops.