The Crime: Criminal Mischief
The Victim: David Tuthill
Location: 6505 Dykes Way
Date: Tuesday, Feb. 5
Time: 3-5 p.m.
While hunting is enjoyed by people young and old, the issue of maturity comes into play when equipment intended for animals is used on humans and their property.
This unfortunate situation was experienced by David Tuthill when he returned to his truck one afternoon and found the back window blown out. Upon inspection of his vehicle, he found a pea-sized steel pellet, about half an inch in diameter, stuck in his seat — the kind commonly slingshot from a particular type of hunting equipment.
“I’m positive this was the work of a high school student who probably used one of those hunting slingshots on it,” Tuthill says. “I don’t know why hunting stores even sell that kind of stuff to kids under 18.
“About two years ago, a truck full of teenage guys paint-balled my truck, and the whole thing cost me about $400. It’s going to be about the same this time, too.”
Dallas Police Lt. Michael Woodbury says victims of criminal mischief should take note of patterns that may be developing in situations such as this.
“If there is a definite pattern occurring, a homeowner can have police patrol the house at certain times,” Woodbury says. “Alerting the police is the only thing I’d recommend other than boarding up your car windows and keeping vehicles out of sight.
“Shooting those wrist-rocket devices and paint-balling is one of those stupid things kids are known to do. If they don’t get a reaction from the homeowner, they might think they can get away with it again.”
Woodbury says wrist rockets are more commonly used in situations like this than slingshots because they have a stabilizer that attaches to the forearm, giving the shooter more power and accuracy. The slingshots sell for about $20 at most hunting and sporting goods stores.
In addition, Woodbury says damages from slingshots can get very pricey, and perpetrators could face felony counts of criminal mischief and weapons charges.
Tuthill says he’s alerting neighbors about the incident and has become involved in his neighborhood’s “first watch” program.
“They don’t know who did it yet, but I’m definitely keeping an eye out,” Tuthill says. “All you can do is try to protect your property better in the future, but it’s a shame.”
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