Jogger hit by paintball shoots picture of suspect vehicle; 2 citedA Cottage Grove woman out jogging on her birthday was shot by a teenager with a paintball gun in a passing car but she managed to snap a photo of the vehicle and give it to police.
By: Scott Wente, South Washington County Bulletin
A Cottage Grove woman out jogging on her birthday was shot by a teenager with a paintball gun in a passing car but she managed to snap a photo of the vehicle and give it to police.
A 17-year-old Cottage Grove male and a 20-year-old Cottage Grove man were arrested and later cited by police in connection with the Saturday, Nov. 10, incident.
The 44-year-old victim called police that day to report that she had been jogging on Hardwood Avenue south of 70th Street shortly before 11 a.m. when a red Eagle Talon passed her and an occupant of the car shot at her. She heard a popping sound and then felt a pain in her left hip, according to her interview with police afterward. She thought it was from an Airsoft pellet gun, but it was later determined to be a paintball gun, according to a police report.
After she was shot, the woman ran into the middle of the street and used her cellphone to take a picture of the Talon’s license plate while the car was stopped at a stoplight on Hardwood Avenue. She yelled at the car’s occupants.
The suspects drove away and the woman returned home. She had a welt on her leg and she called police.
Police used the woman’s photo to track the car to a home in the 6300 block of Goodview Bay in Cottage Grove. The mother of the 20-year-old driver initially said nobody had used the car, but later changed her story and said her son had driven to the grocery store that morning.
An officer interviewed the driver, who admitted that a 17-year-old passenger shot the paintball gun. The 17-year-old suspect smirked at police during an initial interview but admitted shooting the gun and later became emotional when told of possible criminal charges, according to the report.
Police initially believed the case involved second-degree assault, a felony, so they arrested the two suspects and booked them into Washington County jail. The car was towed because vehicles used in a felony crime are seized by authorities.
Later, a Cottage Grove investigator consulted with a Washington County prosecutor and determined it was not a felony crime because the gun was not considered a dangerous weapon under state law.
The 20-year-old was ticketed for disorderly conduct and for having no insurance. The 17-year-old shooter was ticketed for fifth-degree assault.