City police say an intoxicated Garden City man shot a paint ball gun at a pedestrian as he drove through downtown early Sunday morning.
Shawn Sweeney, 22, is facing the charge of felony assault with a deadly weapon, in addition to misdemeanor charges of driving while intoxicated, criminal possession of a controlled substance, menacing, reckless endangerment and unlawful fleeing from a police officer. He was also cited for allegedly violating a city ordinance prohibiting the discharge of a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling.
He was arraigned Sunday morning and remains at Saratoga County Jail in lieu of $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bond.
Police initially received a 911 emergency call around 1 a.m. from an individual who said he was walking along Division Street when he was struck in the shoulder by a paint ball that appeared to be fired from a white Ford Explorer as it drove by. Investigators tracked the vehicle down to Elm Street a few blocks away, where they stopped it and the driver — later identified as Sweeney — took off running.
Sweeney was quickly apprehended, police said. A search of his vehicle revealed two paintball guns.
Police Lt. Robert Jillson said Sweeney refused to take alcohol tests and was belligerent with officers on the scene. While being booked, investigators discovered Sweeney had a pill container with amphetamines and didn’t appear to have a prescription for them.
Jillson said the man struck by the paint ball didn’t know Sweeney. He said the passenger side window was rolled down on the Explorer and it appears as though Sweeney fired the weapon through it.
“No one else was in the car,” he said.
In addition to the criminal charges, Sweeney was also assessed a number of traffic violations. The individual struck by the projectile indicated injuries to his shoulder and neck area, but did not seek medical attention.
Still Jillson said the severity of the attack was enough to warrant the felony charge. He said the paint ball gun is capable of causing significant injury to someone not wearing the proper gear and not suspecting an attack.
“If you are shooting an unprotected person who doesn’t know it’s coming, that’s the intent right there,” he said.