Two tourists struck by blow darts while walking on Golden Gate Bridge

Two tourists received an unfriendly welcome to San Francisco when, in a bizarre incident, they were shot with blow darts while walking along the Golden Gate Bridge, authorities said.

A man flagged down a California Highway Patrol officer Friday afternoon to report that he had been hit in the thigh by a long metal dart, which went through his jeans and pierced his skin, CHP spokesman Andrew Barclay said.

The dart was nearly five inches long — one end had a white plastic cap and the other was sharpened to a point — and appeared to have been fired from a blow gun, Barclay said.

The man had removed the dart, but the officer called an ambulance out of precaution, he said. As the officer was speaking with the man, a woman approached them to report that she too had been hit in the kneecap by a dart.

"I've never heard of something like this," Barclay said. "It seems very random, and it doesn't appear that either of the victims was targeted for any reason specifically .... Neither of them had had any arguments." 

Authorities believe the darts may have been fired out of a car passing by because of the location of the victims’ wounds. The two had been walking southbound on the east sidewalk of the bridge toward Vista Point, a scenic lookout.

"It was definitely one of those situations where you ... wonder why would somebody do this," Barclay said. "It is really just reckless, careless, there's no purpose to fire those darts ... without the intention of harming somebody."

Both victims were examined at the scene by paramedics and released, Barclay said.

The CHP took the darts into evidence and will be testing them for chemicals, including poison, he said. The CHP was investigating the incident and looking into whether video footage of the incidents existed. 

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