CHICAGO (CBS) — Two people were attacked with a paintball gun in broad daylight this week in Mount Greenwood.
CBS 2’s Meredith Barack spoke Tuesday to two of the victims, who said they are concerned the crime could escalate into something more serious.READ MORE: Law To Allow Permanent No-Contact Orders In Sex Convictions
One of those attacks took place at the busy intersection at 107th Street and Pulaski Road around 2:30 p.m. Monday. The person with the paintball gun targeted a family on a bike ride with their 3- and 4- year-old sons.
The father of the family was hit.
“He turned and showed me he had been hit with a paintball,” said the mom of the family, Megan. “So I was shocked, didn’t know exactly what was going on.”
Megan said her husband wasn’t the only victim at the intersection. They noticed a woman across the street who had also been hit.
Moments later, another man came down Pulaski Road saying he had been the target a few blocks down.
All of them were hit by someone shooting a paintball gun from the backseat of a car. Megan, said her husband will be OK, but the whole family was left shaken.
“If that had gone past him, it was right at head-height of my 4-year-old, so like God only knows what could have happened if that would have hit him,” Megan said. “When we got home yesterday, he’s like, ‘I don’t want to ride my bike anymore.’”
About two miles away at 103rd Street and Talman Avenue, Jim Hardiman was riding his bike.READ MORE: Arab Americans in Illinois Will Finally Be Counted When They Get Their Vaccine
“At first, you don’t really know what’s going on, and I then realized I’m being shot with something,” he said. “I think I was put at ease when I saw the blue paint and realized it wasn’t a real gun.”
But he was alarmed just the same.
“What do you do? You cover up. You cover your eyes, you cover your face,” he said. “It’s not a good feeling. It’s not a good feeling when you’re out just trying to take a casual bike ride and this happens to you.”
Hardiman said he was hit more than a dozen times in the back, below his waist, and on his arms.
“I never saw these guys coming,” he said. “I didn’t provoke them. They came up behind me.”
Thankfully, he did see what type of car they were in – and both Jim and Megan believe the same group is responsible for both attacks.
“I saw the gray Optima, little bit of front-end damage on the passenger side,” Hardiman said.
Jim and Megan said they have filed police reports, but want to see an increased police presence in the neighborhood.
“We live in a nice, quiet neighborhood. Half the neighbors are police and fire. You think it’s safe to be outside and to go for a bike ride, to go for a walk,” Megan said. “God only knows if they progress from paintballs to BB to real guns or something like that.”MORE NEWS: Judge Gives Jussie Smollett's Defense Team More Time To Prepare Pre-Trial Arguments
Last October, more than 125 paintball attacks were reported across the city. Six people were arrested in those attacks, with police saying they were going to treat paintball guns like they’re regular guns.