Three In Jail After Shooting Paintballs In City

Two 16-year-olds and an 18-year-old are in Chautauqua County Jail after police said they fired paintballs throughout the city of Jamestown, striking houses, vehicles and pedestrians.

One of those struck was an off-duty state police trooper.

Jamestown police have not released the names of the suspects, all of whom were charged with two counts of second-degree assault, second-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree criminal nuisance and fifth-degree conspiracy.

A fourth suspect, a 15-year-old youth, will be petitioned to Family Court. All are from the Jamestown area, police said.

According to a police report, the Jamestown Police Department received numerous complaints of suspects firing paintballs from a dark-colored, older-model sedan throughout the city and close to the Ellicott town line Monday night.

It is unclear how many paintballs were fired, but police were still investigating the incident Tuesday.

“There is the potential for a serious accident, even if it was a paintball gun,” said detective Lt. Paul Abbott of the Jamestown Police Department. “Something like this can do a lot of damage. You never know how someone is going to react when they see a gun pointed at them.”

Abbott said witnesses, some of whom were struck by the paintballs, helped lead Jamestown and Ellicott police to the suspects.

“It’s always good to remind people if they notice something like this happen to let us know what they see,” he said.

One of the pedestrians hit Monday was William Johnston, a patrolman out of the state police in Jamestown barracks. Johnston said he was riding his bicycle on Fluvanna Avenue in the city when he was hit at least five times by paintballs.

“I was able to get part of their license plate number the first time, and got the rest of it the next time they came by,” Johnston said.

Jamestown police later found the vehicle.

The three older suspects were arraigned and remanded to Chautauqua County Jail, Abbott said.