LYNCHBURG, Va. – Lynchburg police are investigating a dozen paintball-related calls within the past week that included vandalism and property damage.
Police arrested three people on June 10 for paintball-related incidents that occurred at six different locations around the 5th Street and Park Avenue area.
Joseph Leon Farmer, 18, and Tatreal Devarya McDaniel, 21, of Lynchburg were both arrested and charged with six counts of projecting a missile at an occupied dwelling. Charges are still pending for the 17-year-old boy who was arrested.
This increase in activity is possibly connected to the social media trend of paintball wars which began with the Guns Down, Paintballs Up movement. While police believe the original idea of the movement was probably not ill-intentioned, paintball guns can cause harm if used recklessly or unlawfully.
Police also say that some paintball guns closely resemble real firearms and could possibly be mistaken as such.
Charges associated with unlawfully using a paintball gun are property damage and city ordinance violations. If extensive property damage occurs or a person shoots into a house or car, they could potentially be charged with a felony.
To report unlawful paintball activity anonymously, visit http://www.cvcrimestoppers.org.