Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Police: Man shoots at cars, people with airsoft rifle

A Franklin man who police say drove around town Sunday
evening and shot at people and cars with his new airsoft rifles was ordered
held pending a hearing Thursday to determine if he is a danger to the

Scott Haigh, of 685 Pond St., told Franklin police he was
testing two new airsoft guns, which fire plastic airsoft pellets and typically
have an orange or red cap on the barrel, by shooting at street signs.
But according to authorities, as he drove through Franklin
and Bellingham in a brown Chevy van, Haigh, 39, shot an 11-year-old boy in the hand,
as well as at two vehicles.

No one was seriously injured, police said.
At about 6 p.m. on Sunday, police said someone fired at a
vehicle carrying two people that was traveling south on Pond Street. A man and
his son told police they saw someone pointing an airsoft gun at them as they
drove by.

They heard something hit their vehicle, and the son told his
father "that guy just shot at them," police said.
The men and his son told police they had seen a brown van
parked near Donato Drive on the southbound side of the road. But police were
not able to locate a vehicle matching the witnesses' description.

Later, at about 7 p.m., a woman reported that someone drove
by her Pond Street home and shot her grandson him in the hand. She told police
the shot came from a black airsoft gun with a red tip fired from a brown or tan

Police had trouble finding the van so they asked one of the
men in the vehicle that had been fired at on Pond Street car to come with them
in a search.

As they searched on Pond Street, police said, a woman
flagged down the cruiser and said someone in a van had pointed a airsoft gun at
her while she was driving.

Police eventually found the van at 685 Pond St. — Haigh’s

Haigh answered the door and told police he had just been
shooting at street signs, not at people. Police found two airsoft guns inside
identified as the ones used in the incidents.

In addition to a third airsoft gun, police found fireworks.

Police arrested Haigh and charged him with three counts of
assault with a deadly weapon (the airsoft guns), disorderly conduct, disturbing
the peace and unlawful possession of fireworks. Bellingham police said they did
not have any reports of people or cars being shot at.

Haigh pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday in
Wrentham District Court. Judge Emogene Johnson-Smith ordered Haigh held without
bail pending the results of a dangerousness hearing Thursday. Haigh's attorney,
Robert Costello, objected to the prosecutor's request to hold his client,
arguing he was not firing at people.

Airsoft guns are legal in the United States, but a federal
law requires the owners to have some kind of colored marking on the barrel.
Airsoft guns, like paintball guns, are not lethal, though the airsoft pellets
can cause bruising.

Matt Tota can be reached at 508-634-7521 or

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