Others charged in macing incident

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By Ben Bomberger, Reporter

A man and woman charged with assault in the alleged macing of five Republican campaign workers last month have filed charges of their own.

According to court documents, Daniel Cason Meinecke, 29, and Cara Annis Hindman, 26, have filed misdemeanor assault charges against Galax Republican Party Chairman Mike Stevens and another man at the scene that day, David Matthews, respectively.

In court documents, Meinecke says that, “during a heated conversation about stolen political yard signs, Michael Stevens grabbed me by my sweatshirt and chest.”

Meinecke goes on to say that Stevens then “shoved me onto the sidewalk, where he proceeded to pin me to a parked Geo Tracker 4-door SUV by squeezing by the throat.”

In Hindman’s complaint, she says that Matthews — a bystander who was also maced — grabbed her by the shoulders and balled up his fist as if he was going to hit her.

Hindman said that she only sprayed Matthews with pepper spray because she felt threatened.

Meinecke and Hindman each face assault charges.

The charges stem from an altercation on Oct. 27, in which Galax Police Department officers were dispatched to the McCain-Palin campaign headquarters on East Grayson Street when a caller reported someone had sprayed office workers with mace.

Meinecke and Hindman were arrested that day. Meinecke was charged with one count of misdemeanor assault on Stevens. Hindman was charged with five counts of misdemeanor assault because other campaign volunteers allegedly got hit with mace during the struggle.

Stevens told The Gazette last month that, while he was unsure if the couple came into the building planning to start an altercation, he said it seemed evident to him that they were.

According to Stevens, Meinecke and Hindman came into the office that day demanding to know what happened to their Obama-Biden campaign signs, and accused the Republican campaign volunteers of taking them.

“There was no business that this gentleman had to do in the office. We didn’t do anything... We didn’t steal his signs. The people in the building were a 76- and 71-year-old man and their respective wives... they aren’t out there stealing signs,” he said.

All four are scheduled to appear in Galax General District Court on Dec. 8 at 9:30 a.m.