By Jeff Gallatin
City police are checking possible leads that teenagers with a BB or pellet gun were responsible for two people being hit with pellets at the Play-in-Bay area in two separate incidents May 18.
Police Chief Mark Spaetzel said his department’s investigation indicated teenagers were in the park area during the two incidents. In one incident, a mother who was with her two small children at the park was hit with a pellet. In the other, a mother told police on May 19 that her 6-year-old daughter had apparently been struck with a pellet the night before.
“It’s something that we take seriously,” Spaetzel said. “In any case, it’s the type of incident where someone could be injured, possibly seriously, if struck by a pellet from the gun. We’re fortunate that no serious injury took place in these incidents. In this instance, it’s even worse because they took place in a children’s play area, which a lot of children do go and use.”
Detective Jay Elish, one of the officers investigating the case, said officers are still trying to establish specific identities for the teenagers who were in the play area when the shootings took place.
“We’ve heard from people who were in the park that there were teenagers in the area when the incidents took place,” he said. “We haven’t established specific identities yet, because there are a lot of youths who go through there as well.”
Elish said it’s possible that the culprits were in the wooden play area of the facility.
“They would have been able to go up a little higher in them and shoot at people with a BB or pellet gun,” he said.
Elish said people should let police know about any incidents with weapons or any serious incident as quickly as possible, while noting the mother, who didn’t notify officers in this incident until the day after, had reasons.
“She didn’t really know right away her daughter had been hit by anything,” Elish said. “At first, her daughter just got upset and said her shoulder hurt and didn’t indicate she had been hit by something. The mother didn’t realize until later she had actually been hit by something.”
Elish said there have been no additional incidents at the park since May 18, nor have there been any other reports in Bay Village or nearby communities since then.
“They may just be isolated incidents,” he said. “But we will still prosecute. Firing weapons is just not good. Particularly with children involved.”