Egg-throwing incident under investigation

A complaint about someone from within a crowd of Democratic supporters egging a Tea Party Express bus on March 27 is being investigated, authorities confirmed Monday.

The egg-throwing is the only incident that happened during the "Showdown in Searchlight," a rally staged by the conservative Tea Party Express in the hometown of Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., that merited a police investigation.

Las Vegas police spokesman Jay Rivera said a report was filed with the Laughlin substation. The incident is being investigated as a misdemeanor.

The report describes the suspect as a man in a gray, hooded sweatshirt. A man dressed in similar garb can be seen in online videos holding a Reid sign and an egg just before the buses drove past the pro-Reid rally.

Conservative blogs and Web sites are highlighting video of the incident as evidence to support the contention that it is anti-Tea Party crowds who are prone to outbursts, not Tea Party supporters.

The eggs hit the bus during a verbal confrontation between pro-Reid demonstrators and conservative online journalist Andrew Breitbart. Video of the incident was featured last week on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show."

Nevada State Democratic Party spokeswoman Phoebe Sweet is seen in one of the videos typing on a smart phone as the eggs hit the bus. Sweet said she didn't see who threw the eggs and that she broke up the rally after the incident.

She confirmed that field organizer Brian DiMarzio was seen in the video suggesting to an officer that Tea Party supporters might have thrown eggs. DiMarzio did not respond to a message asking about the incident.

When asked whether the Democratic Party would urge witnesses to help police identify the culprit, Sweet responded with a statement criticizing Republicans and news coverage of the incident.

"Sen. Reid spent the day visiting with Nevadans and talking about issues they actually care about like job creation and homeowner relief. The fact the Republicans are working through the Review-Journal to create a distraction isn't surprising, but it's disappointing, and Nevadans deserve better," Sweet wrote in an e-mail.

Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at or 702-477-3861.