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Posted at 2:59 PM ET, 01/27/2011

Police: Snowball leads to slashing

By Jennifer Buske

A man shoveling snow in Lake Ridge early Thursday was arrested after lashing out at a young man who threw a snowball at him, Prince William County police said.

Police responded to the 3800 block of Clore Place about 4:20 a.m. Thursday after Manassas resident Tyree Merle Alexander allegedly attacked a 23-year-old man with a box cutter. Police said Alexander, 40, was working as a contractor shoveling snow in the Lake Ridge community when the victim threw a snowball at him.

The victim, whose name is not being released, was hanging out at a friend's house when the incident occurred, and police said they do not know what caused him to throw the snowball. Alexander is accused of cutting the victim's throat with the box cutter. Prince William spokesman Jonathan Perok said this is the first time he has heard of a snowball leading to such an attack in the county.

After the incident, the victim returned to the house to call police, while other occupants of the house confronted and assaulted Alexander. The victim was flown to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries but is expected to survive.

Alexander was not injured when he was assaulted. He is charged with aggravated malicious wounding and is being held without bond. His court date is set for March 7.

By Jennifer Buske  | January 27, 2011; 2:59 PM ET
Categories:  Manassas, Offbeat, Pr. William, Virginia  
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Comments

"Tyree Merle Alexander allegedly attacked a 23-year-old man with a box cutter. Police said Alexander, 40, was working as a contractor shoveling snow in the Lake Ridge community when the victim threw a snowball at him."
Way to keep some perspective on a situation...joker throw a snowball so I'll completely overreact and face criminal charges as a result. Positively brilliant.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | January 27, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

"After the incident, the victim returned to the house to call police, while other occupants of the house confronted and assaulted Alexander. "

So, a 23 year old really nice guy just happens to be sitting around at 4 am. He then decides to throw a snowball at a 40 year old man working shovelling snow.

Cutting him was totally over-reacting. That was fistfight worthy only.

Hope the really nice young guy does not die.

Posted by: Greent | January 27, 2011 4:08 PM | Report abuse

In the state of Virginia, it is illegal to throw snowballs at people. Per Virginia code 18.2-279 § 18.2-279. Discharging firearms or missiles within or at building or dwelling house; penalty.

If any person maliciously discharges a firearm within any building when occupied by one or more persons in such a manner as to endanger the life or lives of such person or persons, or maliciously shoots at, or maliciously throws any missile at or against any dwelling house or other building when occupied by one or more persons, whereby the life or lives of any such person or persons may be put in peril, the person so offending is guilty of a Class 4 felony. In the event of the death of any person, resulting from such malicious shooting or throwing, the person so offending is guilty of murder in the second degree. However, if the homicide is willful, deliberate and premeditated, he is guilty of murder in the first degree.

If any such act be done unlawfully, but not maliciously, the person so offending is guilty of a Class 6 felony; and, in the event of the death of any person resulting from such unlawful shooting or throwing, the person so offending is guilty of involuntary manslaughter. If any person willfully discharges a firearm within or shoots at any school building whether occupied or not, he is guilty of a Class 4 felony.

Snowballs are included as missiles per the case in Harrisonburg with Virginia vs Charles Gill. In this case, the defendant was throwing snowballs against a snow plow and a unmarked police car. Therefore, Virginia also has to arrest the 23 year old man for felony charges as well.

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/file/felony-snowball-tossing-charges-lodged?page=1

Posted by: paliceag | January 27, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

The 40 year old man overreacted. He now has to face the consequences. However, I do not feel bad in any way for the punk who threw the snowball. Maybe he'll think twice before assaulting someone with an ice projectile the next time it snows.

Posted by: jab00 | January 27, 2011 4:48 PM | Report abuse

your affirmative action snow shoveling program at work....

Posted by: dsanchez11 | January 27, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm in no way defending a 23 year old putz throwing snowballs at some guy working. But talk about overreaction...what would have happened had he actuallly hit him with one?

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | January 27, 2011 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Some crimes say stupid 1st time offender. This reaction tells me Alexander has been locked up before.

Not defending a 23 year old jerk throwing snowballs at 4am, but damn. Slashing his throat? He obviously got close enough to punch him in the face, hit him with the shovel or something.

Posted by: oknow1 | January 27, 2011 5:56 PM | Report abuse

The rule of thumb is: if you don't someone don't throw snowballs at them.
Remember the policeman who pulled his gun on a bunch of people who threw snowballs at his car?

Posted by: Jimof1913 | January 27, 2011 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Dumb perp, dumb victim.

-------------------------------------------

"... Tyree Merle Alexander allegedly attacked a 23-year-old man with a box cutter."

Did the 23 y o man have the box cutter? Didn't think so. Are the editors still stuck in the snow?

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | January 27, 2011 6:28 PM | Report abuse

If you don't know either man, then STF up. If you don't know the facts then STF up. It's unfortunate for everyone. But if you really think about it, don't throw snowballs at someone that's busy trying to make a living and none of this happens

Posted by: BenThere | January 27, 2011 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Who carries a box cutter when shoveling snow?

Who throws a snowball at 4 in the morning?

Cut a man who throws a snowball at you at 4 in the morning and you end up in jail w/out bond: Priceless!

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | January 27, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Ben,
"If you don't know either man, then STF up. If you don't know the facts then STF up. It's unfortunate for everyone."
I agree that its unfortunate for everyone. However, I don't need to know the people involved to recognize someone's overreaction.
Unless the snowball(s) in question had glass or nuclear waste in them, the guy seriously overreacted.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | January 28, 2011 9:11 AM | Report abuse

dont throw snowballs at BEN!!! :O

Posted by: mloaks | January 28, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't anyone know how to just have fun and play in the snow??

Slicing the guy's throat was beyond over-reaction.

Posted by: ms1234 | January 28, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I bet he'll think twice before throwing another snow ball. Smart-Ass; you never know who you're messing with, so leave folks alone.

Posted by: Pstacy | January 28, 2011 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Someone beat me to the punch with the comment that in VA, it is indeed criminal to throw snowballs. Like it or not, the 23-yr old should face felony assault charges. This isn't new. Growing up in the PWC back in the 80's, there was an article in the Potomac News about the illegality of snowballs. Fair is fair.

Posted by: NovaMike | January 28, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Once again, we are not getting the full story here. Here we have a 23 yr. old male "hanging out" at 4:am-dude, get a real job and stop hassling people trying to make some cash. I'd bet Mr. playful 23 yr. old doesn't go down to areas where people are hustling drugs with his little antics-that would be newsworthy. And yes, if it was one snowball-Mr. crankypants over-reacted completely. Something tells me it wasn't and that some little boys who live with their mommiess need to be put to work shoveling snow themselves or leaving other people alone. Victims, sometimes you need to realize the old saying "Don't start nothin-won't be nothing." may not be grammatically correct, but it is profound in it's simplicity.

Posted by: stopthemadness | January 28, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Dude that threw the snowball was an a**, but cutting somebody's throat over it was going over board! I've had snowballs thrown at my car and wanted to jump out and tear the lil' bastards a new one, considering it almost busted my window, but I've never thought about doing something to go to prison. I think the guy with the box cutter is familiar with a prison setting and it just goes to show, you don't play with people out here! A 40 year old man contracted to shovel snow at 4am should tell you something right there!!!

Posted by: dcdivacb | January 28, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

your affirmative action snow shoveling program at work... Posted by: dsanchez11

Charming, and oh, SO witty. Now let the grownups talk and go sit and throw snowballs at 4 am some more.

This was dumb on both sides, but only one person has to do time over being stupid.

Posted by: JustSaying1945 | January 28, 2011 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Ben for this.
If you don't know either man, then STF up. If you don't know the facts then STF up. It's unfortunate for everyone. But if you really think about it, don't throw snowballs at someone that's busy trying to make a living and none of this happens.

And for all you others with the negative comments go to H***.
I personnally know Tyree Alexander and he is not a person that would act this way with out reason. So before you place a verdict about him get the facts.
Go back and ask yourself: Why would a 23 year old who is visiting friends be outside throwing snowballs at 4am without his friends. Another thing why would his friends not have called 911 instead of jumping Tyree. Why did the victim call 911 instead of the friend that were so worried about him?
So just stop with the bullshit and get the facts fore you place judgement on someone.

Posted by: virginia_smith72 | January 28, 2011 6:55 PM | Report abuse

I do know the man personally. And maybe you don't have to in order to pass judgment on him. But you do need to know the situation and circumstances before offering up an slanted opinion about it.

First, this was not a "snowball battle". Snowball battles occur among children and adult friends that actually KNOW each other. Second, the media sensationalizes everything they report so that the gullible public has an emotional reaction to it and comes back for more.

Think about it for a moment and stop reacting to it. If a person's throat is actually "slit" as reported then there will be a death - period. Hit the right artery and it's over. No one has their "throat slit" and then runs back to the house, rallies the troops and dials 911.

There are obviously circumstances that occurred here that led to this unfortunate incident. But we are so quick to pass judgment and express hatred based on what we see, hear, read in the news. Act like a grownup for a change and think about whether you'd actually go outside and throw a snowball at the next plow driver that's clearing your street at 3:00 in the morning.

This DID NOT happen the way it was reported.

Posted by: BenThere | January 29, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Just FYI... I heard through other sources that 3 young guys, who where intoxicated, decided to throw snowballs at the alleged attacker for kicks. When Tyree confronted them, they attacked him at which point he produced the box cutter to defend himself.

Folks, there are two sides to every story. Get your facts straight and hear both sides before you start judging. Let he without sin cast the first stone. Du-mass.

Posted by: eyehenry | February 3, 2011 6:25 PM | Report abuse

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