Three 18-year-old men and two juveniles could face felony assault charges after Burbank police this week arrested them on suspicion of committing a rash of paintball assaults — including shots at a girl on a bike, seniors and a 16-year-old boy. Cars and buildings were also targeted.
Thirteen paintball incidents were reported late last week, but victims provided only vague descriptions of the perpetrators. Vehicle descriptions proved to be a key factor in catching the men, all of them from Los Angeles, said Burbank Police Lt. Jay Hawver.
The adults were booked on conspiracy to commit assault with a deadly weapon and held at Burbank Jail. They were released on $60,000 bail.
Burbank police said they plan to present their case to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office to press charges.
“It’s very shocking when someone is hit, and victims don’t pick up on the things,” Hawver said. “We need them to notice like good solid descriptions or license plate numbers. The vehicle descriptions helped out tremendously based on the sheer number of victims.”
Police warned residents to be on the lookout for a gold Ford, Honda or Toyota SUV with a roof rack; a maroon SUV, possibly a Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota 4Runner, or Honda CRV; a newer blue Ford Mustang; or a dark-colored GMC Yukon or Chevrolet Tahoe SUV.
The case is under investigation, but Burbank police received information that led to the arrests on warrants for assault, Hawver said.
Similar attacks have happened periodically across the nation, including five victims Jan. 26 and 27 in San Diego.
“We’re looking at a form of recreational entertainment that’s in pretty wide use, and not all of [the participants] are vandals,” Hawver said. “It’s a legitimate form of recreation, and it’s unfortunate that it occurred.”
Under California law, it is illegal for anyone to sell or allow access to any imitation firearms — including paintball guns — to a minor. Individuals People who do so may be charged with a misdemeanor.
The Burbank Police Department is encouraging anyone with more information to contact Det. Jeff Lamoureaux at (818) 238-3246.