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Bend resident, 19, arrested in string of paintball attacks


(Update: Suspect released from jail; charges not yet formally filed)

A 19-year-old Bend resident has been arrested on numerous criminal mischief, harassment and other charges, accused in a two-day string of paintball attacks targeting at least 10 cars, cyclists and pedestrians around the area last weekend, police said Friday.

Police received several reports last Saturday of a white passenger car with several people inside shooting paintball guns at other vehicles, people and property in Bend and just outside the city, Lt. Clint Burleigh said. The reports continued into Sunday, then stopped, he added.

Based on the large number of reports, similar suspect vehicle description “and the concern to the livability of the community,” Bend police established a small task force to investigate the rash of incidents, Burleigh said.

The car was described as a white Hyundai hatchback with dark markings. Checking social media, a similar vehicle was identified as belonging to Zachary Taylor Richardson of Bend.

Police identified the local dealer who sold him the car and got Richardson’s cellphone information, but could not determine a current address or location, Burleigh said.

However, police eventually learned he was staying at a home in the 22000 block of Nelson Road. Burleigh said he was stopped shortly before 10 a.m. Thursday in a car at the intersection of Northeast Neff Road and the Powell Butte Highway and taken into custody without incident.

Detectives and officers then served a search warrant at the Nelson Road address, specifically an RV Richardson lives in, Burleigh said. That raid turned up two paintball guns and paintballs similar to the ones used in last weekend’s paintball attacks.

Richardson was booked into the Deschutes County Jail, where records Friday showed he was being held on more than $100,000 bail, facing seven counts of first-degree harassment, five counts each of recklessly endangering, unlawful use of a weapon and third-degree criminal mischief, and four counts of second-degree disorderly conduct.

But he was released from jail Friday afternoon because formal charges had not yet been filed, a jail officer said Saturday.

As the investigation continues, Burleigh said police are trying to identify and find the others who were in the car. Anyone with information about that or who was a victim of the paintball incidents was asked to contact police at 541-693-6911.

Below are locations and times each documented incident over last weekend.

On September 15th, Bend Police took the following reports:

NE 3rd/NE Burnside at 6:30pm

Bicycle rider hit with a paintball shot.

Hawthorne at the SB Parkway 8:27pm

Paintball hit vehicle

Fairway Drive at Murphy Rd 8:44pm

Pedestrian hit by paintball.

On September 16th, Bend Police took the following reports regarding similar behavior:

NW Hemmingway/NW Sonora at 1:33pm

Pedestrian hit by multiple paintballs.

Northbound Highway 97 near the Lava Lands 3:04pm

Vehicle hit by paintballs.

Modoc/Ward Rd at 3:29pm

Hit an adult bicyclist with a juvenile on the bicycle.

Rickard/27th 3:37pm

Pedestrian hit with a paintball

Powell Butte Highway near the Bend Airport 4:07pm

Vehicle shot by a paintball

Century Drive; Entrance of Inn of the 7th Mountain 6:36pm

Bicyclist hit with a paintball

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