Homeowner Gets Revenge On Pumpkin Smashers

PORTER COUNTY, Ind. (STMW) – A man who caught teens smashing pumpkins on his property got back at them by allegedly running at and hitting their vehicle with a bat or log over the weekend.

pumpkin gallery thumb Homeowner Gets Revenge On Pumpkin Smashers


The four juveniles eventually admitted to smashing the homeowner’s three pumpkins on his driveway, in the 100 block of Guilford Circle in the Shorewood Forest community.

They then went to pick up a fifth friend and drove past the house again on their way back. This time, they said, a man with a large bat was outside and, as they slowed down, he ran at their SUV and swung, damaging the back left corner of the vehicle.

The homeowner, Kelly Cleary, 52, told police his dog’s growling led him to look outside and see the teens outside at about 11:20 p.m. Saturday. He admitted throwing part of a pumpkin at the vehicle but denied doing anything that would have caused the amount of damage police saw.

Police asked prosecutors to charge Cleary with criminal mischief.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • Gr

    Guess the kids learned a lesson from this then huh ??

  • Bobbi70

    Why charge Cleary??? You don’t think these punks would stick together with a story about him hitting their vehicle? THEY should be charged with criminal mischief, NOT Cleary. These kids need to be taught they can’t damage people’s property.

  • Lisa

    I’m pretty sure that if the kids are smashing pumpkins, lying is not a stretch. And, even if Mr. Cleary did hit their car with a batSUV, such are the lessons teens learn in life. There isn’t alwasy protection because “I’m just a kid” or what have you. An eye for an eye, a back left quarter panel for 3 pumpkins…and yes, Gr, the kids are learning a lesson – “See what I can get away with?” I hope they pay a visit to the prosecutor’s house soon – he may change his tune.

  • Rich

    I hate poeple like that (the punks)
    They should be killed!

    • bill

      That’s a littl strong, weren’t you a kid once ??

  • Dan

    I had a similar incident a few years back with some punk kids. the cop wanted to charge me. He asked me ” didn’t you do the same stuff when you were a kid?” and I replied., ” Yeah, and when I finally messed with the wrong guy, I got my butt kicked. And THAT guy DIDN’T get arrested, he got praised for standing up to the deviants!!!” Yeah, he just shut up and left.

  • JRena

    Are u kidding me? Charge the homeowner of what; protecting his property? Children are not held accountable these days and that is the problem.

  • Karen

    If we started charging parents for the damage their kids did you can bet there would be changes. After all, it is their lack of parenting skills that loose these demons on us all.

  • Jane

    Society today…run amok. Charge the adult…the kids surely didn’t do anything wrong. Now the kids know they can get away with anything and not be punished. The kids should have been made to clean up the mess, pay for new pumpkins and carve them if they were carved, stand outside his house with signs saying “I’m a vandal”. What in the hell is going on in this country today?

    • bill

      Kids will be kids, give them a break , I’m sure they are nice boys .

      • Phil

        If they were nice boys we wouldn’t be discussing this. It sounds to ma like they were tresspassing and are lucky that it was only their vehicle that received some damage. Try it on my property and see what happens.

  • johnny chingas

    This country sucks when vandals can freely go about their vandalizing ways and know that they’re protected from/by the law, worse yet the homeowners face criminal charges for protecting their property against these no good delinquents. America, when i was growing up, was the home of the brave. Don’t tread on me is no longer applicable, don’t sue me is the chant of the public these days. What happened???

  • Jim

    Some crazy people here. These were kids smashing pumpkins. You never did that? What would you do if they played Ding Dong Ditch? Follow them and throw a brick through their window? When I was a kid, the neighbor caught me soaping his windows on Halloween. He didn’t hit me, or smash my vehicle. He made me clean it up. He became a friend. He is no longer with us. Rest in Peace, Ken. I have not forgotten you.

  • Vicky

    Maybe you should have those ‘nice boys’ over to YOUR house. Keep them away from mine. Too bad about the car; maybe next time their parents will keep their little b*stards at home.

  • Vicky

    Typical. The law protects the perpetrator, not the victim. Only in America…and that is precisely why we are the despised laughingstock of the world now.

  • Kris

    Now you have all reminded me why I hate Halloween so much, thanks a bunch. I got my front door soaped the ONE year I went to a party instead of being extorted by spoiled children. I felt violated and I wished I could have taken some revenge on the little brats. It’s like road rage, Halloween rage.

  • Jim

    Vicky and Phil, when I was in Elementary and Junior High School, I was a victim of people with your thought process. I’ll bet you didn’t know that you can pretty much black out and see stars from being hit on the backside with a paddle, because you were talking in class. And that you could not walk afterward. Or that you also black out and see stars when the edge of a book comes down on your head at full speed from behind. Because you were talking. Basically a teacher delivering a concussion to a child for immediate punishment, which you seem to be advocating. I did not “learn” anything from that other than to fear those particular sadistic teachers. I am thankful my sons never had to endure that, and that we don’t have you as neighbors. Don’t ever attempt to get involved in Scouting. Or teaching. You would fail the interview process, being weeded out as not suitable for interacting with children. You need to think about what you are defending. There is a good likelihood this guy ran out into the street with a baseball bat because some kids smashed pumpkins on his driveway. What exactly should the appropriate punishment be for a smashed pumpkin? A smashed head? A crashed car? Death? You better hope you don’t accidentally cut this guy off in traffic. You may be on the receiving end of immediate and permanent punishment for your “crime”.

  • iphish

    Jim property damage and road rage are two different issues. You obviously have never had to deal with vandals damaging your property! As children we were taught respect by our parents and educators. Kids are out of control because they know they will not be held accountable, even when they shoot someone. I agrre that parents should be charged as criminals for thier childrens actions. Spare the rod?….no way!

  • iphish

    I would end up in jail before I would allow my kids to act in that manner…..BECAUSE I LOVE THEM!

  • Vicky

    How nice that their ‘parents’ just open the door, hand them their car keys (!) and let these little punks terrorize the neighborhood. Not sorry about their car at all. Just what the world needs; more a$$holes. This is what happens when you raise punks. They get their a**es kicked by someone that won’t put up with it, and then those are the parents that squeal when their car has a dent in it. Take your pity party elsewhere.

  • Vicky

    Maybe they should stay home and smash pumpkins all over their own parent’s driveways.

  • streamwood bill

    Why not have CLeary go to the kids’ houses and smash pumpkins on their property. I’m sure Cleary would then get arrested. What a goofy prosecutor. He is the laughing stock of his town/village. Truly an idiot

  • Jim

    Actually, I have dealt with repeated and costly vandalism. Not the same as a juvenile prank smashing pumpkins. I let the police handle it, did not chase the kids with a bat. And I stand by my words, nobody in their right mind should defend someone running into the street with a bat over smashed pumpkins. And guess what, if your teenagers get through adolescence without doing stupid pranks like smashing pumpkins, it will be a miracle. Or you are clueless, because you have no idea what they are doing.

  • iphish

    Jim in case you haven’t noticed, the police are too busy to worry about a few smashed pumpkins….and my kids are fine honor students and professionals. I would like to think I contributed to that by teaching them respect and responsibility for thier actions. When they are old enough to realize why I didn’t spare the rod, I will consider them adults

  • Jim

    It was the latter. You are clueless.

  • Vicky

    Apparently responsibility for your actions and respect for others are no longer fashionable in America. Come on, November!

  • Vicky

    In some locales, the police don’t do squat. If you think that the police in Chicago, Highland Park or Des Plaines are gonna help you, YOU are the one that is out of touch with reality. Ya right! LOLOLOLOL!!!!!

  • Vicky

    Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time……keep your eye on the sparrow!

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