Monday, July 30, 2007

Teenager accused of firing airsoft gun at officer

A 17-year-old Eugene boy is being held in the county juvenile detention center after he allegedly fired an airsoft BB pistol at a passing motorcycle police officer.

The incident happened around 9:20 a.m. Wednesday on the cloverleaf onramp from Northwest Expressway to Belt Line Road, police spokeswoman Kerry Delf said.

The officer reported seeing the shot fired by the front seat passenger in a car passing him in the opposite direction. The round missed.

The officer turned, stopped the vehicle and charged the shooter with menacing, reckless endangering and attempted assault on a public safety officer. Two other male juvenile occupants of the car were not involved and were released.

Delf said the misuse of low-powered guns can be dangerous. Airsoft guns typically fire 6mm plastic spheres at more than 200 feet per second. Because the guns often resemble high-powered firearms, they can evoke a potentially deadly self-defense response from police officers, Delf added.

City code prohibits firing any gun - including pellet guns, air guns and BB guns - except on established ranges, and also bars pointing any gun at another person except in self-defense, she said.

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