Arlington Heights police responded about 9:26 PM Saturday to report of a teen hit by an Airsoft projectile in the block of 500 West Thomas Street Arlington Heights, IL. Police received a report that a 13-year-old male victim was hit in the back with an Airsoft gun.
The victim and a friend were playing in front of the friend’s parent’s house when the victim was hit. The victim and his friend noticed a dark-colored SUV fleeing the area westbound on Thomas Street after the victim was struck with a projectile. The dark SUV had a variety of stickers on the back windows.
The crime is reported to have occurred Saturday about 9:25 p.m.
The offense is considered a simple battery.
The victim’s family declined medical attention, but the victim did sustain a welt or bruise-like injury to his back.
A typical Airsoft gun has a range of about 120 to 180 feet, but some can be modified to reach about 300 feet.
Participants that use Airsoft guns in sport are required to wear impact-rated googles or safety glasses to protect their eyes. Full face protection gear is also available. Regular sunglasses or glasses can shatter when hit by a projectile and cause eye injuries. A direct hit to the eye without eye protection can also cause eye injuries.
In a study in France, most eye injuries were corneal abrasion, hyphema or blood in the anterior chamber of the eye which can result in permanent visual impairment, and iris trauma. The iris is the eye color part of the eye that controls pupil diameter. Trauma to the iris can cause pain, pain from light exposure, floaters, which usually occur within three days of the injury.
In the French study 50 percent of victims has long term problems and 33 percent of victims required surgical intervention.
Multiple sources report that Airsoft handguns are not accurate more that about 50 feet, while Airsoft rifles are not accurate more than about 100 feet.
Airsoft guns in the United States are generally sold with a 6mm (0.24in.) or longer orange tip on the barrel to distinguish them from real lethal firearms. Of course, a criminal could put an orange tip on a real firearm to deceive victims.
Arlington Heights police urge any citizen with information about this incident to call 9-1-1 or to call the non-emergency police telephone number 847-368-5300.
See also …
Rambaud C1, Tabary A, Contraires G, El Hassan F, Labalette P. Contextual study of Airsoft gun related ocular injuries. J Fr Ophtalmol. 2013 Mar;36(3):236-41
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