Hermiston residents voice concern over paintball vandalism

<p>A paintball stain marks a spot underneath the bedroom window of Elizabeth and Daniel Banda at their home in Hermiston.</p>

Elizabeth Banda walked out of her Hermiston home Saturday morning and saw her neighborhood had been the target of vandals wielding paintball guns. 

A neighbor’s car, she said, was “plastered” with paint. A pink paintball exploded just below her and her husband’s bedroom window in the cul-de-sac in the 1800 block of Northeast Sixth Place.

“It’s sad,” Banda said. “When they come in here and disrespect other people’s property — they wouldn’t do it in their neighborhood.”

Hermiston police Saturday received at least eight complaints from east side residents about their homes and vehicles getting hit with paintballs. The spree occurred in early morning darkness.

Truck driver Bill Medlock said the paintballers shot the tinted windows of his pickup in the 600 block of East Newport Avenue. He said his insurance will cover the $100-$150 repair bill, but that won’t fix what he has seen as increasing problems in his neighborhood.

He said young people have been strolling the streets late at night, and minor vandalism has been on the rise. Neighbors try to keep an eye out for problems, Medlock said, but he wants a greater police presence.

“We’ve asked for extra patrols,” he said, but police haven’t been able to do much.

Acting Police Chief Jason Edmiston said police have little to go on and no idea of who was responsible for the paintball onslaught.

On the plus side, he said, no one has reported significant property damage and no one was injured. And he said officers will be on the lookout for anyone with paintball accessories.

Banda said this isn’t he first time her neighborhood was hit. 

Almost a year ago, she said, paintball shooters came through.

They even used the same color of paint, she said. Her biggest concern is for the four young children she and her husband, Daniel, are raising.

“What if it’s going to happen during the day sometime, you know,” she said, “when the kids are playing outside?”

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