Paintball incident aftermath

For the past couple of weeks, Trinity College has been facing the same incident over and over again. Someone is either walking or driving on Allen Place when a red or dark colored vehicle approaches them. The passengers in the vehicle then proceed to pelt the individuals with paintballs. There have been many theories as to what is going on. Some students believe it is just a prank that is either from the Hartford community or the Trinity College community. Others believe that it might be gang activity.
 
On Tuesday, the Trinity community was informed through an email that the incident occurred again. According to the email written to campus community at about 1:45 p.m., a student told Campus Safety that he was waiting for a bus at New Britain Avenue and Henry Street when two people riding a silver scooter passed him by. One of the individuals hit him on the hand with a paintball. Since this was done in broad daylight, it seems that there must be a certain motivation for the perpetrator of these paintball incidents. One of the motives maybe Halloween.
 
According to Brian Heavren, the Interim Director of Campus Safety, similar incidents have occurred before. They generally happen before and after Halloween.
 
“Traditionally, Hartford has experienced these incidents immediately prior to and after Halloween and then they have stopped,” he said.
 
Although Campus Safety has not been able to find out who is involved in these paintball incidents, they have made some progress.
 
“Several of the incidents fall into a pattern of time of day, day of the week, and location,” Heavren said.  “With one exception, the incidents occurred on weekends and in the early morning hours.  In addition, the majority of incidents occurred on Allen Place or Crescent Street.  We have identified two vehicles that appear to have been involved in more than one incident on campus.  A gray Pontiac and a red SUV.  These images have been shared with the Hartford Police Department.”
 
The Hartford Police Department, being aware of the incidents, has taken some measures in their search to find the culprits of these incidents.
 
“The police department has been given the photographic and video evidence that we have,” Heavren said.  “They have shared it with their officers so they can look for the vehicles that may be involved or question people found in other parts of the city found with paintball guns.  The police department has also increased their presence on campus to prevent further incidents and to identify the vehicles and their occupants should they return.”
 
Another thing that Heavren mentioned is that he does not believe that any specific persons are being targeted. “Campus Safety has no information that leads them to believe that any individual or group has been targeted,” he said. “It appears that the people committing these assaults are driving on city streets contiguous to our campus to locate individuals or groups that are walking or congregating outside.”
 
In regards to what should students do to keep safe, Heavren advises students to be cautious. “With the weather staying warm, Campus Safety recommends that students are mindful of their surroundings,” Heavren said. “Look for vehicles that are moving slowly as they approach pedestrians or vehicles that are repeatedly circling the campus.  Upon reaching your destination, do not linger outside or form large groups.”
 
 

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