American ‘serial slingshot shooter’, 81 years old, arrested

Image source, Azusa Police Station / Instagram

Image caption, Azusa Police executed a search warrant at the suspect’s residence

  • Author, Brandon Drenon
  • Role, BBC news
  • Reporting from Washington DC

A “serial slingshot shooter” who allegedly antagonized residents of his California neighborhood for years has been arrested, police say.

The 81-year-old man is accused of shooting ball bearings at dozens of local homes, destroying windows and windshields and narrowly missing people.

Azusa police say Prince King’s arrest concludes a “long-term investigation” and puts an end to the “quality of life issue” that has plagued area residents for nearly a decade.

King pleaded not guilty during his court appearance on Tuesday.

The Azusa Police Department released a statement on Instagram this week saying Mr. King’s arrest came after a search warrant was served at his home near where the incidents were reported.

“During the search, ball bearings and a slingshot were found in his home,” police said.

The crimes had been taking place for nine to 10 years, police said, during which time “dozens of citizens fell victim to a serial slingshot shooter.”

This includes ball bearings thrown at home windows and car windows, ‘almost’ hitting people.

Police said they were able to arrest Mr King when a recent increase in complaints revealed a “pattern” and allowed them to “narrow it down to a specific residence”.

“We are not aware of any motive other than just malicious mischief,” Azusa police Lt. Jake Bushey told local news.

Residents say they are relieved after years of incidents.

“Many times I would come out and find little BBs at the front door,” resident Monico Palomino told a local NBC affiliate.

“I’m very happy that the person has been arrested.”

Images of cracked windows and plastic bags filled with small silver balls collected in the victims’ courtyard were shown on the local news.

According to the New York Times, King is charged with criminal mischief and vandalism.

He has been released without bail until his next court hearing on June 17.

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