2 Men Charged With Shooting Paint-Gun Pellets at Cars, Woman

Times Staff Writer

Misdemeanor charges were filed Tuesday in Glendale against two men suspected of shooting paint-gun pellets at five cars on area freeways and at a La Crescenta woman, who was hit with bright red paint while standing in front of her home.

Douglas Allen Palma, 21, and James Frederick Vaughn, 19, both of Los Angeles, were charged with battery, brandishing a replica gun and throwing a substance at vehicles in connection with the March 19 incidents.

Woman Hit 3 Times

Yakai Ogawa, 33, was hit three times with pellets containing red paint, and five cars were splattered with bright orange and yellow paint.


Palma and Vaughn were arrested early Monday in Westwood after police stopped a van driven by Palma on a routine traffic violation. The van’s license plate number matched the one reported to police as the license of the van whose occupants shot the paint a week earlier, officials said.

Palma will be arraigned Monday in Glendale Municipal Court. He is being held in County Jail in lieu of $3,400 bail. Vaughn, released from Glendale City Jail on $2,000 bail Tuesday, is to be arraigned May 5.

The shootings occurred in the afternoon on the Glendale and Foothill freeways. According to a police report, victims said the suspects were wearing paint-splattered painter’s caps and overalls and laughed as they shot the pellets out of a green plastic gun.

Under police questioning, a woman who was in the van when Palma and Vaughn were arrested said Vaughn had recently bought the paint gun because he liked to play war games in the hills with his friends, according to a police report. Paint guns are commonly available over the counter in sporting goods stores.


Passenger Window Hit

Sam Zavala told police that he and his wife were driving their Chevrolet El Camino on the Glendale Freeway about 2:30 p.m. when their car was hit with a paint pellet on the passenger window. Zavala said he stopped his car and saw two men wearing painters’ garb laughing inside their van.

Zavala, furious because his wife could have been hit in the face with the pellet had the passenger window been open, said he followed the van as it sped away but soon lost it.

About 15 minutes later, another man reported to California Highway Patrol officers that his car had been hit with paint shot from a white van.

When Melinda Campbell’s car was hit, she followed the van off the freeway, took down its license plate number and called police from a pay phone, according to a police report.

Police searching the van found paint pellets and carbon dioxide cartridges on the floor, the report said.