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Detroit police receive 95 calls over paintball wars

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News
Detroit Police Chief James Craig addresses the media Friday on "painball wars" happening in the city.

Detroit — Police continue to receive calls over an ongoing "paintball war" despite six arrests being made Wednesday. 

Chief James Craig said Friday that five adults and one juvenile have been arrested and in one case, a police command vehicle was struck 11 times. Police said the paintball incidents are a citywide trend, with many incidents being filmed and published on social media. 

Davon Williams, 22, of Detroit, has been charged with two misdemeanors: assault and propelling an object at a passenger vehicle. Authorities allege Williams was near Cooper and Moffat in Detroit when a police captain in an unmarked vehicle saw 50 people armed with pneumatic weapons having a paintball battle, according to the prosecutor's office.  

The captain activated his lights and got out of the car when Williams allegedly fired shots in the captain's direction, striking the vehicle. The captain arrested Williams and he was arraigned Friday.

Davon Williams

Craig said since Sunday, the department has received 95 calls for service for paintball incidents and damaged property. 

"When you look at the significance of 95 calls ... we have taken scout cars out of service to handle these calls, and you know there are other emergency calls for service that can't be handled, so it must end now," said Craig, adding that the weapons suspects are using "replica firearms." 

"Police officers could be confronted by someone with a replica weapon. They may make the mistake of thinking it's a firearm and feel threatened, and there may be a deadly response to that."

The department plans to combat the paintballers by setting up enforcement details on the east and west side this weekend. 

"We will be making arrests, detentions, so we're urging young people to not get involved in this activity," Craig said."I understand that this has been a growing trend across the nation but it's not the answer. Let's find a way to work together to reduce violence."

Police said they've only received calls about property damage but have pictures that depict the type of injuries a person could sustain if struck in the face.