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On January 14, 2014, neighbors called in an incident of unknown people throwing things–purportedly shooting paint balls–at cars in the area of Butterfield Stage and Crown Hill Drive in Temecula, California.
Deputies arrived on scene at 7:50 p.m., and the police helicopter was dispatched to search the area, however no suspects were found.
“The possibility of the projectiles being paint balls was reported, but there was nothing found, and no damage reported,” stated Deputy Albert Martinez of the Riverside County Sheriff’s public information office. Even still, patrol officers will continue to drive the area and keep an eye out for similar activity, especially over the long weekend. “There is an added issue if these individuals were shooting paint ball guns into traffic,” Martinez stated. “First, paint ball guns are to be used on fields, with the proper equipment, not to be fired out int the street where they could potentially cause injury.”
According to the consumer warning network, a paint ball gun has the average velocity of about 270 fps, almost as fast as a BB gun. Paint balls are designed to explode on contact, like mini-water balloons, however the guns designed to shoot them release them at a speed where it could be extremely harmful to property, people, or animals if targeted. “If they were cited for shooting paint balls into the street, or at houses, property, or individuals, this would be deemed not only as a public nuisance, but as an act of vandalism.” Martinez said.
There is the added danger to the individuals carrying paint ball guns, as they could be confused with a rifle or gun.
As always, the Riverside County Sheriff’s office encourages the public to report any suspicious activity: 951-776-1099.