Sheriff rounds up the “Hastings Four”

Historic City News learned that sometime between midnight and 4:50 a.m. Sunday morning, four men from Hastings decided to go speeding through the streets, damaging and stealing mailboxes and other property, until they were captured shortly after 7:00 a.m.

Deputy Jason Kroul responded to a report from the area where one resident said they observed the teal colored GMC pickup truck with a loud exhaust; as its occupants stole her mailbox and the contents.

Kroul reported that he spotted the vehicle driving northbound at the corner of West Deep Creek Boulevard and Cedar Ford Boulevard. When he attempted to perform a traffic stop, the driver sped off, turning left on Alvin Street — until he ran the truck into a ditch.

The four occupants were removed from the vehicle and identified as:
21 year-old John Leonard Tuthill, Jr. who resides at 4445 Joyce Street in Hastings; 23 year-old William Henry Neiger, Jr. who resides at 4465 Calvin Street in Hastings; 22 year-old Philip Anthony Red-Elk who resides at 205 Park Avenue in Hastings and 21 year-old Zachary Luke Bush who resides at 10335 McMahon Avenue in Hastings.

According to the incident, Kroul observed five mailboxes and an FDOT stop sign in plain view. Deputies Rachel Soles and Billy Lennon assisted Kroul at the scene. Soles photographed the items in the bed of the truck as well as a hammer and a cane on the ground just outside the passenger door.

While securing the defendants in handcuffs, Kroul discovered a plastic wrapper from a pack of cigarettes that contained a green leafy substance that field-tested positive for cannabis.

Soles and Lennon continued the investigation; identifying seven victims, as Kroul transported the defendants to the St. Johns County Detention Facility.

The defendants were charged as and bail was set follows;

John Leonard Tuthill Jr, an unemployed, sandwich tech, Bail $6000
1 Count, Felony Theft Of A Stop Sign;
3 Counts., Misdemeanor Criminal Mischief;
1 Count, Felony Criminal Mischief
5 Counts, Petit Theft

William Henry Neiger Jr, an unemployed student, Bail $5500
1 Count, Felony Theft Of A Stop Sign;
3 Counts, Misdemeanor Criminal Mischief;
1 Count, Felony Criminal Mischief
5 Counts, Petit Theft

Philip Anthony Red Elk, an unemployed, landscaper, Bail $6000
1 Count, Felony Theft Of A Stop Sign;
3 Counts, Misdemeanor Criminal Mischief;
1 Count, Felony Criminal Mischief
5 Counts, Petit Theft

Zachary Luke Bush, an employee of the Hastings Subway, Bail $7000
1 Count, Felony Theft Of A Stop Sign
3 Counts, Misdemeanor Criminal Mischief
1 Count, Felony Criminal Mischief
5 Counts, Petit Theft;
1 Count, Possession Of Cannabis Under 20 Grams;
1 Count, Resisting An Officer Without Violence.
Bush was confirmed to be sought under an active violation of probation warrant.

Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News archive photograph

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