Friday, May 30, 2008

Bridgeton HS student charged for pointing airsoft gun at teacher

BRIDGETON -- A Bridgeton High School student was arrested Thursday after he allegedly pointed a BB gun at a teacher's head Wednesday night following a school concert.

Rajahn S. Hargrove was arrested without incident after music teacher Nicholas Kline reported the crime to authorities Thursday morning, according to police.

Hargrove, 18, of Mount Vernon Street, was charged with aggravated assault, possession of an imitation firearm and terroristic threats. He was released on his own recognizance on the charges.

The alleged crime occurred outside of the high school following the concert.

Hargrove has indicated the incident was meant as a joke and that he and his friends believed Kline would take it as such, Bridgeton Police Lt. Jere Branch said.

Kline did not take the incident as a joke and opted to sign complaints against the student on Thursday.

Two males, whom police did not identify because they were not charged, reportedly grabbed Kline, with one of them putting the teacher into a headlock, according to police. Hargrove then allegedly pointed the BB gun at Kline's head.

"He used, unfortunately, very, very poor judgment and, as a result, there will be an expulsion hearing ... That is just intolerable," Bridgeton Public Schools Superintendent Dr. H. Victor Gilson said Friday.

Gilson did not identify the student, by name or by grade, when contacted by the News, but he did indicate the expulsion hearing will be held before the school board in June.

Police recovered an airsoft BB gun from Hargrove.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

High School Student Shoots Airsoft Pistol; Schools Lockdown

RICHLAND, Wash.--Police say Friday (4/25) morning, two teenagers were walking toward Richland High School, holding what appeared to be a gun.

Three schools, Marcus Whitman Elementary, Carmichael Middle School and Richland High School went into critical lockdown.

Both suspects later drove into the high school parking lot. A plastic airsoft BB gun was found under the passenger seat.

"They could have came out with that in their possession, in their hand," mentions Ofc. Allen Jenkins. We don't know. We may have to return fire. We may take that as a lethal confrontation. That's the last thing we want to have happen."

Richland police say one of the students could face charges. He was released to his parents.

These types of plastic airsoft guns are widely available at local sporting goods stores. Friday afternoon, a store employee admitted they are very deceiving.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Airsoft Guns: from men to boys

PEOPLE running around an enclosed battle field, complete with camouflage suits and tactical gears, while blasting sounds from the rifles cover the arena. A real military combat exercise?

No, it is the fun-filled shootout of airsoft enthusiasts, where “dead guys” walk off the field after getting “hit.”

An online encyclopedia,, defines Airsoft as a combat sport similar to paintball in which “participants eliminate opponents by hitting them with 6 mm plastic balls launched from Airsoft guns that can be powered by CO2, green gas, or electricity powered gearboxes actuating a piston.”

In plain terms, it is a game where men—and not a few women—get to relive their Indians vs. Cowboys days, this time as terrorists vs. counterterrorists.

The game was developed in Japan in the early 1970’s to provide an alternative for gun hobbyists since local laws prevented individuals from privately owning firearms. However, instead of goofy looking paintball guns, a heavy emphasis was placed on making accurate replicas of real firearms

Local enthusiasts had the chance to dust off their combat gears and play soldier during the 1st Philippine Airsoft Club of Mactan (Pacman) Airsoft Close Quarters Battle (QCB) Competition held last weekend at Mactan Central School, Lapu-Lapu City. Ten teams with at least 15 members each joined and showed zest in playing the sport.

A closed battle field with obstacles all around it and a killing house at the center was prepared for the airsoft game.

“The obstacles are there to make the game realistic,” said Joe Barquero of Team Pacman. Single walls and blue drums, where the players positioned for defense—or ambush— were scattered all over the arena.

In each airsoft game, two teams got inside the fenced arena to fight each other and raced for the game’s objective—a “bomb” locked inside a box which was placed in the killing house right at the middle of the field. The first team to unlock and diffuse the “bomb” wins the match.

However, unlike any other game, coaching isn’t allowed and killing a “dead guy”—an opponent who has already admitted to being hit—is also considered a violation in the game.

To make sure everyone follows the rules, game marshals are scattered around the arena to look for violations and to identify players who got hit. Airsoft players who have been hit by an opponent or unintentionally by a teammate’s friendly fire, will no longer be allowed to continue the game.


And getting hit, or admitting to have gotten hit, is where the gun-toting, adrenaline rushing sport finds a parallel with that of the gentleman’s game of golf—there is a premium on honesty.

Barquero emphasizes that honesty among airsoft players is important since no one could really monitor everything that is happening on every player in the field.

On the other hand, for another airsoft player, “shooting someone” is an enjoyable form of stress management.

“The game gives the airsoft players discipline, camaraderie and team work. It’s also a means of anger management,” says Rudy Patalinjug, a senior player of Team Pacman.

Pearl Ann Balajadia, who has been hooked in Airsoft due to her husband’s invitation, now treats the sport as a form of exercise, source of real fun and adrenaline rush.

For another airsoft enthusiast, getting the chance to play soldier is a lot of fun.

“It is a fun game wherein we are like real soldiers deployed in Basilan,” expressed senior criminology student Leoncio Pescador.