Copperas Cove man jailed for setting off tear gas in backyard on New Year’s
By LYNETTE SOWELL
A Copperas Cove man is in the Coryell County jail as of Monday on bonds totaling $43,000, after an investigation into a New Year’s incident which led to a total of 14 individuals being affected by “smoke bombs” that Kristopher Anthony Meda, 45, allegedly set off in his backyard.
On New Year’s Day morning, an officer responded to a call in the 1300 block of Briscoe Court for an incident in which a woman reported that the night before, she and her family were on the back porch when smoke blew into her yard from the south.
She provided police with video that showed at approximately 12:16 a.m., smoke began pouring into their yard. It burned her skin, eyes, and throat, and she said she believed it came from 1230 Briscoe Court, which turned out to be Meda’s residence.
“Based on the description, I suspected the smoke to be a chemical irritant, namely CS gas,” the officer wrote in his affidavit.
According to the arrest affidavit, the officer then went to question Meda about the smoke, and Meda told the officer he had gone to bed around 9 p.m. and knew nothing about it. But upon inspection of Meda’s backyard, the officer found two recently expended Riot CS Gas grenades, and observed scorch marks in the grass. Meda denied any knowledge of the grenades.
Meda ended up being arrested on an unrelated warrant and was transported to the police department, while the officer remained on the scene.
Another neighbor on Briscoe Court also spoke with police and said he too had seen the smoke, and that it came from Meda’s backyard. He told police that he went to confront Meda about it after the smoke cleared, but when he walked up to the house, Meda closed the garage door and would not answer his front door.
The officer stated that during his investigation, he discovered a total of 14 victims who had experienced burning of the skin, eyes and throat due to the smoke.
According to the jail records, Meda is being held on charges of one count of injury to a child/elderly/disabled – reckless bodily injury and 13 counts of assault causing bodily injury, along with a motion to revoke for DWI.