Driver nabs teens with paintballs

SALEM – Three teens caught by a motorist after shooting his vehicle with a paintball in the Walmart parking lot Wednesday night denied involvement in last week’s paintball barrage.

Lt. Dave Casto said no charges were filed in the latest incident, but the investigation is still ongoing in both cases, with statements taken from the three teens.

An Alliance couple came to the police station at 7:36 p.m. Wednesday to report their Ford Escape SUV was hit with a paintball in the Walmart parking lot. The husband stopped the other vehicle, described as a white older model Jeep, and made contact with the occupants, confronting them about what they had done.

Casto said the man made them clean the paint off of his vehicle and made them apologize. Then he confiscated their slingshot and box of paintballs. A picture of their vehicle registration was provided to police.

As the registration was read over the radio, Sgt. Brent Slider noticed the vehicle behind him, got turned around and stopped them in the Smith Oil parking lot on East State Street and had them come to the police station.

Police obtained statements from them regarding the Walmart parking lot incident.

“They said they had no involvement in the incident last week,” Casto said.

The items taken from them included two slingshots and two boxes of orange paintballs.

The three suspects included a 19-year-old male from Alliance, an 18-year-old Salem girl and a 15-year-old Salem boy. The two from Salem are siblings and Casto said their parents were contacted and told about the complaint.

During last week’s incident, more than a dozen businesses from one end of State Street to the other were hit with paintballs. A woman also reported being hit in the head with one and at least two motorists reported their vehicles were hit. In all cases, the vehicle described was a white older model Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The investigation remains pending.