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Police say man bought 350 pounds of nails, scattered them on roads

Police sprayed nails with a special UV varnish to be sold to the suspect in order to tie him to the nails found on the roads in the Cincinnati area.
Cincinnati man bought 350 pounds of nails and scattered them on roads
Posted at 3:29 PM, Apr 01, 2024

A Cincinnati man is facing charges for buying large quantities of nails and scattering them on roads — and it's not the first he’s done it, police said. 

The Springdale Police Department in Ohio said 44-year-old Anthony Dyson was linked to scattered nails found on roads in three different towns on March 24. 

He faces three charges of placing hazardous materials on a highway. There is also a warrant for his arrest in Butler County, filed on March 26. 

Dyson had previously been arrested by West Chester Police in 2023, accused of throwing nails out of a moving car. That case is still pending in Butler County Municipal Courts. 

According to court documents, investigators determined that between December 2023 and March 2024, Dyson bought 350 pounds of nails from a store in Evendale. 

The nails he purchased were determined to be the same kind of nails found scattered through roadways in Springdale and other nearby communities, according to court documents. 

Police came up with a plan to figure out if Dyson was the person responsible for throwing nails on the roads. According to court documents, they got some of the same nails from the Evendale store and sprayed them with a special liquid that can only be seen under ultraviolet light. 

"We got some of the nails from the store, we colored them with the luminescent spray, took them back to the store, said when he comes sell these nails to him," said Det. Sgt. Jeff Heard, with Springdale Police. 

Then, on Monday, officers found around 60 nails scattered on Crescentville Road near Strategic Parkway and 70 more on Crescentville near Chesterdale Road, according to court documents. The nails collected from the scenes were coated in the luminescent varnish.

Springdale police said although residents in Springdale, Sharonville and West Chester have been reporting nails destroying their vehicle tires since June 2023, the charges against Dyson are only for the investigation surrounding the most recent incident on Crescentville Road.

"I know we as a Springdale Police Department have lost 39 tires in the last year alone," said Tom Butler, Chief of Springdale police. "Five or six thousand dollars in tires, just in our cars. Say someone is driving down the road on 275, which is relatively close and they have a catastrophic blowout because of that nail, now we have a major crash or somebody loses their life over placing nails in the roadway."

Police said they compared the nails people found in their tires and determined they were all the same kind of nails — and not ones that matched any nearby construction sites. 

In December, Scripps News Cincinnati spoke with several residents in West Chester, Springdale and surrounding areas who said they have complained about finding nails in their tires for a long time. 

"I thought some crazy lady was flattening my tires or something," Springdale resident Kishira Miller said in November. "I'm constantly having flat tires."

Miller said at the time she had to replace four tires in a matter of weeks, spending more than $1,000 to fix her flats.

She's not alone. Tom Edward, another Springdale resident, said he's spent hundreds. Just two weeks ago, he said mechanics found two more nails in one of his tires. He’s had to replace all four of his tires in just one year because of nails. 

"Why is this guy doing this? said Edward. "But does he actually understand how much trouble this is? I got to get help, plus all of the folks that had to call on the road service just to get there. It's just been going on, and on, and on and it amounted hundreds of dollars just for me, I know it was thousands for other folks."

Dyson was given a $15,000 bond, of which he has to pay 10%. He was arraigned in a Hamilton County courtroom Tuesday morning. 

This story was originally published by Felicia Jordan at Scripps News Cincinnati.

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