The Turlock Police Department is on the hunt for the person or persons who have been using pedestrians and cyclists as target practice with paintball guns.
At least nine incidents have been reported over the last few days of individuals being struck with paintballs from someone firing from a vehicle. There have also been similar attacks in Denair. Authorities believe there have been more attacks that have not been reported.
"The police department is working hard to locate and identify the responsible(s) in these incidents,” said Turlock Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Parmley. “These acts are serious in nature and the police department will hold these individuals accountable for their senseless actions."
The first incident was reported at 8:15 p.m. Monday in the area of Monte Vista Avenue and Geer Road.
The next day the police department took reports from people who were struck around Orange Street and Montana Avenue around 7:40 p.m., South Broadway, near Broadway Park, just after 8 p.m., and at a Mister Carwash (location unknown) at 8:15 p.m.
On Wednesday there were five more reports. The incidents occurred at: 185 N. Tully Rd. around 6 p.m., Johnson Road and Hawkeye Avenue around 6:55 p.m., Tuolumne Road and Johnson Road around 6:58 p.m., Monte Vista Avenue and Berkeley Avenue around 7 p.m., and 700 Block of Lambert Way around 8 p.m.
After the incidents were reported on social media another report came in that happened in the 300 block of First Street.
Several of the people hit reported minor to moderate injuries. Police believe the suspect(s) are freezing the paintballs to make them inflict more pain.
Detectives assigned to the case were able to obtain video surveillance of the suspect vehicle after one of the assaults occurred. The suspect vehicle is believed to be a 2013 to 2016 dark gray Honda Civic with tinted windows.
While detectives continue to pursue the case, the police department is asking people to be aware of their surroundings; immediately report any similar or suspicious activity; and obtain a license plate number if not dangerous.