Alleged 'Drive-By Prankster' Charged With Aggravated Assault, Robbery

Man allegedly recorded assaults and posted them to Instagram

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Police say pranksters who are scaring residents with fake guns and then posting their exploits on Instagram could face charges. NBC10's George Spencer has the details. (Published Monday, Feb 17, 2014)

    A Philadelphia man who allegedly filmed himself committing drive-by hold ups and then posting the video online has been charged with assault and robbery.

    Daron Stinson, 21, has been charged with Aggravated Assault, Robbery and related offenses for two assaults that took place on Feb. 13, Philadelphia Police said on Tuesday.

    Police say Stinson used a black pellet handgun to commit the assaults and recorded the incidents, posting the videos on Instagram.

    Stinson and another man, who has not yet been identified by authorities, drove up to a man walking along the 2200 block of Diamond Street at 2:25 p.m. last Thursday, pointed the gun at him and then fled, police say.

    In the video of this incident, the victim could be seen diving to the ground when Stinson pulls the pellet gun's trigger.

    Just over a half-hour later, police say the pair drove up to a man salting a sidewalk along the 2800 block of Diamond Street, pointed the handgun at him and demanded he place the rock salt into the back of their black pickup truck.

    On the video, the men yell profanities at the victim as he spills the rock salt on the ground. They then drive away.

    There are a handful of similar videos posted on Stinson's Instagram account tagged as "drive-by pranks." A comment from his account posted under one of videos says the group is simply playing around.

    “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.”

    However, the man's father, Rodney Stinson, told NBC10.com he's not amused by the videos.

    "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."

    Sources tell NBC10.com Daron Stinson works as a security guard for AlliedBarton Security, and has, at times, been assigned to work at the Philadelphia Police Training Center in the Spring Garden section of the city.

    The 21-year-old remains in custody at Philadelphia Police's Central Detective Division and is awaiting arraignment. He does not have a prior record.

    Detectives say they know the identity of the second man and are continuing to investigate the incidents.

    Aware of the other videos showing people falling victim to the drive-by pranks, police are asking other people who may have been assaulted to come forward and speak with them.

    Anyone with information can call 215.686.TIPS.


    Contact Vince Lattanzio at 610.668.5532, vince.lattanzio@nbcuni.com or follow @VinceLattanzio on Twitter.