MARENGO – A Marengo father told police that he was playing a game of airsoft with his children when he shot them in the legs with hard plastic projectiles similar to pellets, authorities said Wednesday.
Police saw otherwise and charged Thad Smith, 33, of the 800 block of North Hale Street, with two counts of domestic battery this week. Smith shot at least two of his three young children with an Airsoft gun, leaving welts on their bodies, Marengo Deputy Police Chief Joseph Hallman said.
Smith’s ex-wife filed a police complaint Sunday evening after the children, a 10-year-old girl and twin 9-year-old boys, returned to her house, Hallman said. Police arrested Smith on Monday evening and took him to the McHenry County Jail, where he posted 10 percent of his $1,500 bond Tuesday.
Hallman said Smith told police that he and the children were playing a game with the Airsoft gun. None of the children fired any shots at their father, he said.
“I think he was kind of surprised that we were involved,” Hallman said.
Smith’s next court date is scheduled for July 1. If convicted, Smith could be sentenced to up to a year in jail and fined up to $2,500.
Hallman said police had no problems with Smith in the past.
“I think it’s just poor judgment,” Hallman said. “To us, this is a first. There’s other forms of games to play, I would assume.”