Local News

'Angry Neighbors With Paintball Guns' amazed at reaction

Posted August 18, 2009 7:58 a.m. EDT
Updated August 18, 2009 1:23 p.m. EDT

— A group of Durham residents taking aim at speeders with the threat of a paintball gun said Tuesday that they are "amazed and gratified at the reaction."

The group, Angry Neighbors With Paintball Guns, posted signs at strategic locations throughout the city, warning motorists to slow down or risk being shot at with a paintball gun.

The group does not say if the signs are meant to serve only as an attention-grabber or if it plans to shoot paintballs at vehicles.

"We received top story coverage on local television news, more than half a dozen requests for interviews from local media outlets, and generated hundreds of comments on blogs, media Web sites and Facebook," according to an e-mail from a group member, who declined to release his or her name. "We received numerous requests from individuals who wish to receive their own copies of our sign. We inspired the creation of a Facebook group. We clearly touched a nerve in the city of Durham."

The group says it is disappointed that the city has stopped funding its PACE Car program, which was designed to help prevent speeding. Kammie Michael, a Durham police spokeswoman, said budget and staffing constraints forced the dissolution of the program.

"It is very disheartening to read that the city has neither the time nor the money to continue this program. Over 1,500 citizens signed up to participate in the 18 months the program was operational. Bring it back. Tell us how much money you need. We'll raise it," the group member wrote in Tuesday's e-mail.

The police department has increased patrols in the area recently, Michael said and residents have complimented the police department on its response.

"The Durham Police Department enforces traffic laws, and we plan to continue to be responsive to traffic concerns from residents throughout the city," she said.

Michael said it is a crime to shoot a paintball at a vehicle and that the signs could be a distraction for some drivers and make the problem worse.