One victim who talked with CBS 2’s Jermont Terry still has scars. And that victim wonders if the people shooting those paintballs realize just how terrifying it is for people, and just how close they are coming to seriously injuring those like himself.
“I was bleeding out the forehead,” said Chris Trani.
You can still see the scar on Trani’s face. The injuries were left behind after a group of guys in a white sport-utility vehicle sprayed him with paintballs while he was riding a bicycle off Sheffield Avenue in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.
“Someone yelling, ‘Hey man!’” Trani said. “And I look over and right then, they started shooting me in the face.”
Trani ended up with his face swollen and an ugly bruise above his right eye.
“I’m lucky that I didn’t lose my vision,” he said.
He is disturbed to hear of even more paintball incidents after his more than a week ago. Trani considers what’s going on to be assault.
“It’s no different if you’re walking down the street and a random stranger punches you in the face,” he said.
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A few miles directly to the south, the paint was still visible Wednesday night at the corner of Morgan and Monroe streets in the West Loop – where overnight the night before, someone in a sport-utility vehicle sprayed a man walking a dog.
Minutes later, a man on a bike was hit – also by people in a white SUV.
Right before Halloween last October, Chicago saw a similar uptick of random attacks.
One man’s dashcam captured the sounds, and an image of someone hanging out the back window with a long paint gun – also from a white SUV – at Ontario Street and McClurg Court in Streeterville just about exactly a year ago.
“Every October, someone seems to think that it’s funny to come and attack people in the streets of Chicago,” Trani said. “What I don’t think these people realize is that it’s assault. It’s been classified – the police report called it battery.”
And while the attacks are random, Trani questions how seriously Chicago Police are taking the reports.
“I’ve yet to hear from Chicago PD,” he said.
Police said they are investigating the incidents, but can’t say with certainty if they are all connected.