(Sept. 20, 2013) Brotherly love was lacking Sept. 11 when a 59-year-old Delaware man reportedly trashed his brother’s Ocean City residence by pouring and squeezing ketchup and mustard on the floors and furniture.
One of the resident’s neighbors called police after verifying that the suspect should not be inside. A maintenance man had told him the door and window were open and condiments were all over the unit’s interior. The concerned neighbor went to the workplace of the owner, who told him the intruder was probably his brother, who did not have permission to be there. He then returned to his own residence in time to see the intruder holding the resident’s black mountain bike and trying to leave the property.
He asked the intruder where he was coming from and the intruder gave the man the number of his own unit, so he knew that was untrue because another resident was inside. He then went inside his own unit and called police.
Before police arrived, the suspect returned to the unit he had trashed.
When two police officers arrived, they saw that the window screen had been knocked out and the front door was wide open. They could see condiments thrown around the residence and a man, later identified as Michael Dwyer of Claymont, rummaging through the refrigerator.
Both officers drew their weapons and ordered the suspect to exit the unit with his hands up. Dwyer complied and reportedly said it was his brother’s place and he had permission to be there.
According to the charging document, the officer “observed mustard, ketchup and icing spread about the house in a malicious manner. A couch and stool had lines of mustard on the upholstery as well as the pillow and blanket that where (sic) on the couch. The entire living room and kitchen floor was covered in a mixture of mustard and ketchup. The stove in the kitchen had icing smeared on the stovetop. As I checked other rooms in the dwelling I continued to observe the same pattern of condiments being spread about the house. The bathroom floor was covered in mustard and the bedroom floor had lines of ketchup on the floor and the walls.”
Another officer went to the workplace of the suspect’s brother, who confirmed that his brother was not allowed in the residence.
Police charged Dwyer with third- and fourth-degree burglary and malicious destruction of property.
Further investigation led to the discovery of the mountain bike under the storage area of the building. Icing and mustard were on the bike’s tires. The brother confirmed that it was his bike and he said he kept it in his bedroom. He also said it was valued at approximately $100.
Police then charged Dwyer with first-degree burglary and theft of less than $100.