Wiltshire cyclist injured in drive-by paintball attack

Rider shot three times, once in face, as he cycled home in early hours of morning

by Simon_MacMichael   April 3, 2012  

road.cc news

A Swindon man has recounted how he required hospital treatment after being shot at three times from a passing car with a paintball gun, once in the face, as he cycled home from work in the early hours of Monday morning.

Barman Tony Blackford, aged 25, told This is Wiltshire that he had been left temporarily blinded by the attack, which also saw him hit twice in the ribs, and that he managed to flag down a passing motorist who took him to the Great Western Hospital to have his injuries treated.

Mr Blackford, described as suffering from moderate learning difficulties, said: “I finished work and was half way home when I heard ‘bang, bang, bang.’ The car came from behind me and I could not see anything.”

His grandmother Jeanette Blackford, aged 71, added that he was lucky not to have been blinded in the attack, with one of the projectiles just missing his right eye.

“We thought his nose was broken,” she revealed. “He had oil from green paint in his eyes and could’ve been blinded.

“He normally wears glasses for reading so it was lucky he wasn’t wearing them. He’s very quiet at the moment.

“He’s never caused any trouble and has done remarkably well to hold down a job since leaving school.

“He went and got the job at the Dockle Farmhouse by himself and he works so hard. Now this happens and he is terrified of going out.

“He could not see the car or anything – he was covered in paint and blood.

“You can’t print what I think of the people that did this – if only I could get hold of them. I hope the police throw the book at them.”

This is Wiltshire says that it is believed that the incident may be related to similar attacks that have take place in the town in which BB guns have been used.

On the same night that Mr Blackford was attacked, a 19-year-old was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm in connection with one of those other incidents, which had taken place in Middleleaze.

A spokesman for Wiltshire Police commented: “We arrested a 19-year-old male for an incident in Alba Close involving a BB gun. The car involved was a Renault Clio.

“We had three reports but the man has been arrested only in relation to one. We are keeping an open mind as the other reports are very similar.”

Anyone who has information about the attacks is asked to call Wiltshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

13 user comments

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lost for words

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3570 posts]
3rd April 2012 - 9:26


oh, I have the words!

sadly they're un-printable

Buddha said:

Believe nothing, No matter where you read it,
Or who has said it, Not even if I have said it,
Unless it agrees with your own reason
And your own common sense.

mad_scot_rider's picture

posted by mad_scot_rider [577 posts]
3rd April 2012 - 9:30


Sadly not an isolated incident. I was riding to watch the Surrey Classic last year with a mate a few dozen yards behind me. He saw a kid shooting at me with a BB gun from the passenger window of a white van.

Luckily, the kid didn't hit me and I didn't know anything about it until a few minutes later. I'd been doing 30+ downhill at the time, and the consequences of getting hit by a BB at that speed make me shudder.

Luckily the bike race meant there were tons of police about, and they managed to pull the van over about 20 minutes after we reported it.

I got off lucky compared to this poor guy though. What low-life scum.

posted by ade [82 posts]
3rd April 2012 - 9:43

1 Like

The **** who did this will probably get a reduction in sentence because there was a car and a cyclist involved.


posted by Edgeley [203 posts]
3rd April 2012 - 10:00



"I am convinced you are of good character, and that due to the sun in your eyes, you accidentally produced a pellet gun and, through no fault of your own, shot the victim (who was daft enough to be riding a bike - a bike! - at the time). I hereby sentence you to 15 minutes community service."

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3570 posts]
3rd April 2012 - 11:10


don't give him to the courts. Just hand him over to us. We'll sort him out.....

posted by londonplayer [671 posts]
3rd April 2012 - 11:31


maybe the sun was in his in eyes and he didnt realise there was a cyclist there - that should be enough of an excuse for them to avoid any meaningful penalty....


posted by Bigpikle [68 posts]
3rd April 2012 - 12:38


Really the punishment for this should be the paintball firing squad - naked of course.
I mean there would be plenty of volunteers for the firing duties.

posted by pmr [178 posts]
3rd April 2012 - 12:53


Scum! Angry

cidermart's picture

posted by cidermart [483 posts]
3rd April 2012 - 18:52

1 Like

give me 20 mins with them in my garage...they will be punished fairly with my assorted hammers, pliers and welding equipment..

seriously, what is the worst that can happen in our society? they could go to prison....OOOOOOOH scary! they will get to play playstation, pool, hang about with similar minded fekwits with the same mentality....yeah, that will teach them.

outsource prisons to China.....you wouldn't wanna go there Smile

posted by quango2008 [36 posts]
3rd April 2012 - 19:38


Now that would be one hell of an outsourcing deal!

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3570 posts]
3rd April 2012 - 21:35


quango2008---i like your prison outsource idea. We also have chain-gangs works the sides of roads in some U.S. states. Sheriff Joe in Arizona puts them in pink jumpsuits and they are provided shelter in tents in the desert.

I'm stunned... that was just plain sadistic and senseless. This goes beyond bad behavior of juveniles. Find this person or group and punish them as an example.

Remember to wear protective eyewear folks, clear lenses or shaded!

posted by dino [59 posts]
3rd April 2012 - 22:13


londonplayer wrote:
don't give him to the courts. Just hand him over to us. We'll sort him out.....

After today. I'd be up for that. Angry

downfader's picture

posted by downfader [204 posts]
4th April 2012 - 15:18

1 Like