A group of Huntley and Lake in the Hills teens are facing criminal charges after shenanigans with a paintball gun along a Grafton Township roadway Tuesday nearly ended in tragedy.
Authorities said the teens - males between the ages of 16 and 19 - were in two cars exchanging barrages of paintball pellets and rocks while driving along North Union Road about 12:10 p.m. Tuesday.
As they approached the intersection with Hemmingsen Road, the windshield of the vehicle under fire from the paintball gun became covered in paint, preventing its 16-year-old driver from seeing a stop sign ahead.
"The vehicle traveled into the intersection without stopping and hit a third vehicle," McHenry County Sheriff's Sgt. Don Kalenick said.
Fortunately, neither of the teens in the 16-year-old's Dodge Caravan or the driver of the third vehicle, Christina Park-Tegtman, 31, of Genoa, were injured.
"It pretty much speaks for itself," Kalenick said of the teens' actions. "Kids goofing around in cars isn't a good idea. It's reckless, it's dangerous and it could have been a lot worse. They were lucky."
The teens were not arrested at the scene, but sheriff's police on Wednesday filed charges of reckless conduct against Donald S. Peryer, 19, of the 2000 block of Brittany Bend in Lake in the Hills; Samuel M. Cox, 18, of the 10400 block of Bend Avenue in Huntley; and Julio C. De La Luz, 18, of the 0-100 block of Muirfield Court in Lake in the Hills.
Peryer, Kalenick said, was a passenger in the vehicle involved in the crash. Cox and De La Luz were in the vehicle from which the paintball pellets were fired.
The charge against them is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines, as well as probation or court supervision. No court date for the defendants was available Wednesday.
The 16-year-old boy also was charged Wednesday, but because of his age the case has been referred to juvenile court.