Vandals Hit Martin County Homes, Businesses with Paintball Guns

By: Olivia Fecteau Email
By: Olivia Fecteau Email

MARTIN COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) – More than 80 people are cleaning up a mess after vandals with paintball guns hit homes, businesses and cars along a 15-mile stretch of road early Monday morning.

“Businesses been damaged, cars been damaged, homes been damaged, anything they could shoot at,” Martin County Sheriff Garmon D. Preece said.

Investigators said they believe they know who the vandals are. They said two of the suspects are juveniles. A 21-year-old may have been driving the car out of which they shot paintballs, according to Preece.

For Betty Grace, who lives just outside Inez city limits, this isn’t the type of paint job she envisioned when she decided to remodel her house.

"It's a shame that people ain't got nothing else to do but do stuff like that,” Grace said. “They must think it's funny, but it's not."

Not everyone who was a victim of vandalism thinks this is that bad. Gary Ball, who works at the Mountain Citizen in Inez, said it is obviously serious, but it could have been far worse.

“Kids and pranks. All of us were children once,” Ball said. “I did some really stupid things when I was a teenager.”

Preece urged adults and kids not to do things like this.

“People thinking they’re having fun, on other people’s expense,” Preece said. “It's not fun when you lose your property or get it destroyed."

Preece said there could be more damaged homes and businesses than what they’ve seen so far. The vandals, he said, could face charges of criminal mischief for each home, business or car they hit -- at least 80 charges.

Grace, who is a widow, said she will have to ask her children to come into town to help her clean the mess off the siding of her house.

“They all have to work and got families and have to come up here,” she said.

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