Police: Reports of people being shot with paintballs in north Columbus

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Columbus police say a prank popping up in north Columbus is no laughing matter.

Since April 1, Columbus officers have responded to 16 calls of paintball attacks. They mostly are happening in the Linden area.

Sgt. Dana Hess of the Columbus Division of Police says there are reports of people getting shot with paintballs as they walk down the street. She says cars are even racing up the street shooting paintballs at each other.

Hess says the paintballs are not only dangerous outside of a controlled environment but also become a public safety concern because the way the paintball guns look.

"There's a controlled environment for these types of toys," Sgt. Hess said. "And when they are using them out on the street, they can resemble real firearms which can clearly be dangerous from a police officer's perspective as we are responding to a call."

Sgt. Hess says anyone caught using a paintball gun on the street will be charged at the highest level the law allows.