Man charged for allowing young girls to fight in Newport News

Posted at 11:09 AM, Jun 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-04 22:37:34-04

Newport News, Va. - A Newport News man has been charged after police say he allowed two girls to fight one another.

On June 1, 2015, officers responded to the 600 block of 16th Street in reference to a past assault.

Police made contact with a mother and her 10-year-old daughter, who told police that she and some friends were taking turns fighting another group of juveniles on the playground. The 10-year-old also said that one of the juvenile’s uncles held her down so that the girl could assault her. The officer saw no signs of injury on the 10-year-old, according to police.

The officer made contact with the other parties involved, which included a 9-year-old female suspect and her uncle. The 9-year-old told police that the 10-year-old assaulted her first and then she defended herself. The 9-year-old had minor injuries, police say.

Based on the investigation, 41-year-old Larry Lee Winkle of Newport News, who is the uncle of the 9-year-old girl, was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and was issued a summons. The charge is based on the fact that Winkle allowed the two girls to fight one another. He did not take his niece out of harm’s way and encouraged her to fight, according to police.

NewsChannel 3 went to Winkle's home and no one answered. Shortly after, a woman from his home told NewsChannel 3 to get off the property. Her only comment was that Winkle was working with authorities on the incident.

Parents in Newport News, who were horrified by the incident, say that they are worried about the message Winkle is sending to other young kids.

"Children will be children, they're going to get into squabbles, but when a parent gets involved that encourages it, I think that's horrible," says Nicole Ashe, of Newport News, Va. "We're supposed to be encouraging them to do the right things, not encouraging violence."