Lexington man arrested for vandalism at WKYT, other news stations

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 9:47 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 8, 2021 at 2:14 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lexington police said they arrested a man who vandalized several TV stations, including WKYT. They said 37-year-old Derek Nance faces seven counts of criminal mischief and drug charges.

Back in December, an employee at a Lexington urgent care was startled coming to work. Spray painted accusations of “false positives” and other graffiti lined the walls of the healthcare facility.

“It jarred her, it shook her because no one expects to come and see anything like that, said Kimberly Blanke, a member of management for Urgent Cares of Kentucky. “She didn’t know, was there someone inside?”

Then in February, Lexington TV and radio stations were targeted. Lieutenant Clay Combs with the Lexington Police Department said the incidents started at police headquarters in October. He said police tracked down a car with surveillance camera footage, then gathered enough information to get a search warrant.

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WKYT and other Lexington media targeted with messages questioning coverage of COVID-19 pandemic
WKYT and other Lexington media targeted with messages questioning coverage of COVID-19 pandemic(WKYT)

“We didn’t have a tag but we were able to identify that vehicle and trace it back to Mr. Nance,” Lt. Combs said.

According to the arrest citation, marijuana, mushrooms and LSD were found, along with other items police said connect Nance to the scene of the crimes.

“I would probably characterize everything as political, propaganda, maybe just political opinions, making comments on media, making comments on COVID response, and several military-type slogans,” Lt. Combs said.

You may recognize Nance from a 2019 story we did about a Lexington man who eats a full raw meat diet. At the time, Nance said the raw diet solved his health problems.

Police said he didn’t explain why he allegedly vandalized the businesses, but they said he did talk during conversations with them.

“He pretty much admitted that, yes, he was involved and kind of walked us through how everything was done,” Lt. Combs said.

Police said Nance had help. They said his 62-year-old partner, JoAnn M. Prosser was driving the car.

“She was involved and was cited at the scene and released,” Lt. Combs said.

Both Blanke and Lt. Combs said this crime is more than just spray paint and manifestos.

“He damaged personal property. And I really don’t understand what that solved, what point that got across for him, or why he chose to be aggressive and so blatantly disrespectful to others,” Blanke said.

Lt. Combs said the police are glad to have the man they think is behind these crimes off the streets.

“Even though it might seem like just minor vandalism, again, that’s one of those people that maybe has gotten themselves worked up to a point where they’ll do something bad, we want to make sure it doesn’t escalate,” he said.

In court Thursday, a not guilty plea was entered on behalf of Nance. Lt. Combs said Prosser also faces criminal mischief charges.

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