Chicago residents attacked by eggs — how they came together to crack the case

By Nathan Sirkin, Staff Reporter

A freshly cracked egg that was thrown at Autumn Schoolman, a member of the Chicago Egg Hunters Facebook group, rests on a Clark Street sidewalk. Courtesy of Autumn Schoolman.

It was a hot summer day when Jody Driscoll was hit with an egg in the back of her neck, leaving her bleeding and knocking out her $150 earrings. Driscoll called her mother in disbelief, wondering who would do this.

This question would soon enter the minds of dozens of Chicago residents, who would later report having eggs thrown at them. These incidents occurred mainly on the North Side of Chicago, with the egg thrower being known informally online as the “North Side Scrambler.”

Driscoll had seen movies where people had eggs thrown at them to make fun of them, which made her feel self-conscious.

“So at first, I was like, ‘Oh my god, why me?’ Also, it hurt very badly,” Driscoll said. “That’s also why I kind of teared up a little bit. I actually bled, and I had a scar on my neck from it because of the whiplash of it.”

With residents feeling frustrated at the lack of response from the Chicago Police Department, many decided to turn to social media to try and put a stop to the egg throwing.

Chicago Egg Hunters, a Facebook group that includes more than 1,500 members, serves as a place for people to post about recent sightings, alleged attacks and any relevant information about the egg thrower.

Declan Fay, a technical consultant and a fellow egg hunter, was walking his dogs with his girlfriend along the Van Buren Street Bridge over Interstate 90 on Aug. 5 when she was hit by an egg thrown at her from a moving van.

“It was this very unmistakable white box van with graffiti on the side,” Fay said. “It was a beat-up, dirty looking van, so it seemed very clear that it had to come from that, unless it fell out of the sky or something.”

Fay, like other members of the Egg Hunters’ Facebook group, believes the egg thrower may have been targeting women.

Fay said he thought it was strange that the egg thrower would not have thrown it at him because he was in front and an easier target to hit.

Driscoll, a hairdresser at Drybar in Chicago, questioned if she was being targeted for the way she dressed, which caused her to feel like it was a personal attack.

“I try to look like a Bratz doll,” Driscoll said. “When I told my mom what happened, my mom said, ‘[It happened] because you dress the way you do.'”

Driscoll credits herself with being one of the first people to bring awareness to the egg throwing incidents, because when she initially checked the internet, she could not find anything, and some did not believe her story.

“Some people said they’ve never had an egg thrown at them before, so they thought I was making it up,” Driscoll said. “And then some people were like, ‘I’m so sorry this happened.’”

It was three weeks later when someone else recounted their experience of having an egg thrown at them that the story began to gain traction on Reddit.

“Immediately people that interacted with me on the Chicago Reddit tagged me in the post, and then everyone started commenting,” Driscoll said. “So I think that I was one of the first people on Reddit that mentioned it.”

Moshe Tamssot, the founder of the Chicago Egg Hunters Facebook group, was key in cracking the case, from setting up the page to tracking the white truck and connecting it to Value Home Furniture, 5917 and 6701 S. Western Ave.

“My hope throughout this was that we would create an environment of knowledge and information sharing that would make it very difficult for the egg truck to operate,” Tamssot said.

As of September 1, the president of Value Home Furniture informed Tamssot that the driver in question was no longer employed by the company.

The Chronicle’s attempts to speak with the person identified through a Facebook response and LinkedIn as Value Home Furniture’s company president were not immediately successful.

Chicago Police Department spokesperson Michelle Tannehill told the Chronicle Sept. 13 CPD did not have information about the alleged egg thrower and no arrests have been made.

But Tamssot is pleased with how the community worked together to get to this point.

“Hopefully this will be an end to it and be a demonstration of what we can do as a city when we tie all the neighborhood groups together,” Tamssot said.