Woman 'hit by ball bearing' fired near shoppers at retail park
A COUPLE was left shocked after a ball bearing was apparently fired at their car, breaking its windscreen, before bouncing off and hitting a woman in the leg.
Phil and Ruth Coffin have now been left unable to use the Ford Focus until Christmas Eve as a result of the incident which took place at the Meteor Shopping Park car park, off Wilverley Road in Somerford, Christchurch, on Wednesday.
Mrs Coffin had just parked the vehicle in the busy car park outside Aldi around 12.30pm when the couple heard a loud crack and she felt something whistle past her face.
They discovered a large crack in the windscreen and, after hearing a woman complain that she had been hit in the leg, Mr Coffin was handed a ball bearing by another passer-by who had found it on the ground.
“At first I looked up thinking something might have fallen on the car as I have been driving along before and had acorns fall and hit the car,” Mr Coffin told the A&T afterwards. “But this had hit with such force it couldn’t have just fallen on the car.
“We then heard a lady exclaim. She had been walking through the car park with her partner and a young child in a pushchair. She said, ‘I’ve just been hit in the leg.
“There was a gentleman there as well and he picked up a ball bearing and handed it to me. I can’t say necessarily that that’s what hit the car, but my wife felt something pass by her face for just a very brief split second.”
Saying the incident had left him and his wife feeling shocked and dazed, Mr Coffin stressed neither of them saw where the missile came from. He did not believe they were particularly singled out for targeting in the attack.
Although they reported the incident to police and were told officers would attend, he said they did not see any before leaving the scene. He had pointed out to the call-taker that there was a CCTV camera diagonally opposite where the incident happened.
The couple were able to get the damaged car to their home in nearby Burton, but Mr Coffin said they would be unable to use it further until it is repaired.
“We put in a call for the repair and it is covered by our insurance, but we’ve been told it can’t be done before Christmas Eve,” he continued.
“It’s a bit annoying as this is obviously the time of year when you need a car to be going here, there and everywhere.”
A Dorset Police spokesperson said officers were investigating reports a ball bearing had been fired at a car, damaging its windscreen and hitting a woman in the leg.
Witnesses are being urged to come forward as enquiries continue, with no arrests having been made yet.
Anyone with information should contact Dorset Police on 101, quoting crime reference number 18:200, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.