Cop shot with blowgun


January 8, 2003, 09:08 AM
Alternate headline, "What would LawDog Do?"
Deputy shot by man with blow gun

By JOHN WISELY , Of The Oakland Press 01/07/2003

January 7, 2003
A vest worn by an Oakland County Sheriff's deputy was made to stop bullets, but it came in handy during a blow-dart attack.

Deputy Wayne Lake was not injured when a 4-inch dart struck him near his collarbone early Sunday morning in Rochester Hills.

"We're talking about a couple of inches," said Sheriff Michael Bouchard. "Had it been 3 or 4 more inches, it would have hit him right in the throat."

Lake had stopped a car on Mohawk Lane off Adams Road north of Tienken Road about 2:15 a.m. Sunday. Videotape taken from a camera mounted in Lake's patrol car shows him standing beside the car talking to the driver when he is startled and looks down at the dart.

"All of a sudden he heard a swoosh," said sheriff's Capt. Robert Smith, commander of the Rochester Hills substation.

When Lake realized someone had fired at him, he drew his weapon and radioed for backup. Lake looked up and saw his attacker hiding in some bushes about 15-20 yards away, the investigator said.

With the help of two other deputies, Lake arrested Matthew R. Beasley, 21, who lives on the street.

Prosecutors charged him with felonious assault and resisting police. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.

Investigators found a blow-dart gun which they believe was used in the attack. The gun consists of an aluminum tube about 3-feet long, with a handle on the bottom, a sight on top and a funnel-shaped opening at one end that resembles the mouthpiece on a trombone.

Investigators said the dart is shoved into the barrel and the shooter blows through it to fire it. Beasley told investigators he bought it for $5 at a gun and knife show at the Pontiac Silverdome.

Investigators said Beasley had been drinking, but the reason for the attack was unclear. Bouchard noted the incident followed closely a similar attack in Wayne County, where a police officer was shot at during a traffic stop.

Bouchard said in both cases, the attackers were not involved in the traffic stop, but chose to attack the officers.

"It is deeply disturbing to me," Bouchard said. "Some of these individuals think it's open season on law enforcement. I'm here to tell them it's not."

┬ęThe Oakland Press 2003

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January 8, 2003, 09:10 AM
Pity there weren't more officers about...sounds like prime time for a pig-pile!!!


January 8, 2003, 09:50 AM
A blowgun....

I remember having one as a kid, they'd stick into wood to the point where only pliers could pull them out.

I wonder is lethal force would have been justified if the officer decided to go that route?

Ham Hock
January 8, 2003, 10:13 AM
A friend of mine was a police man in Baltimore city in the 70's. He told me that someone actually had him pinned down (no pun intended) at a stop light with a BOW AND ARROW!.

El Tejon
January 8, 2003, 10:33 AM
The natives are restless?:D

January 8, 2003, 10:33 AM
but I have been pretty drunk in my life at times and not once have I ever thought to myself....

"Hey ya know what we be cool, find a cop or other heavily armed individual and shoot him with a sharp pointy object sure to tork him off....yeah that would be cool."

I swear we need to weed out some of the shall we say slow elks in the herd.

Guy deserves an asp baton attitude adjustment just for the principle of the matter. Sort of a stupid stick for cops I would say.

I mean I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer and I probably won't cure cancer or bring about world peace but come on now. Kind of like that guy who shot the Alaskan pipeline last year...what goes throught these people's minds.

//soapbox mode=OFF//


January 8, 2003, 10:45 AM
A friend of mine got one of these. He tried shooting at a shed and some cardboard for a while. Then I showed up, saw what he was doing and went to get the air compressor.

We got the darts to completely penetrate 3/4" cardboard (the stuff that is used to ship thousands of pounds of car parts). It stuck into the far side of the big box we were using, almost going through that, but shed the base.

For the kiddies reading this:
When using an air-compressor with a blowgun less is more. A quick tap on the regulator will be more than enough.

Fun times.

January 8, 2003, 11:13 AM
He bought it through the "gun show loophole" I am sure. We should ban them!!! NOT...


January 8, 2003, 11:19 AM
Investigators said Beasley had been drinking...Gee...ya think? :D

Once again, the idea of requiring a license to procreate seems like a mildly good idea.


PS for the humor-impaired, thats a joke...

January 8, 2003, 11:41 AM
I knew a goofy neighbor once who had one. Seeing what he could do with it I sure wouldn't wanna take a hit from one. Throat/eye hit could be fatal.

January 8, 2003, 12:20 PM
I have a 5-foot model that I purchased by mail-order in 1986 or so. The longer the barrell, the greater the velocity, I seldom see models over three feet long these days. I ordered mine from an advertisment in the back of an outdoor magazine. I believe they used to sell models up to eight feet long. Mine is called the "indoor model". The old ad used to show a man holding an anteater. The caption read "40-pound anteater killed without poison!", or some such. When I received the blowgun in the mail, there was an order form for a book on how to make poison darts. (I never ordered that.)

I still show off that thing to my friends. It is amazingly accurate at close ranges, using an instinctive shooting method with both eyes open. Most of my darts consist of a length of steel wire that has been heated and inserted into a hard plastic round bead. At six yards or so (from the muzzle) the groups are so tight that I often shatter the plastic bead of the darts already stuck in the target.

Its a lot of fun, but I never had the urge to get drunk and shoot it an a man armed with a gun, either.

4v50 Gary
January 8, 2003, 01:16 PM
Now I want one. I helped someone I know get one by having it shipped to Nevada. Thanks for the compressor tip, Cordex. Imagaine a nut going on a rampage with one of those? Numerous barrels, gravity fed from a hopper like the Renqua gun of the Civil War and a compressor?

Ban compressors now! Ban tubes of metal now (OK folks, give up the pipes and conduits)! Ban vans (vehicle of choice for mass mudrers). Better yet, get rid of the criminals and the rest of us can have our toys.

Mark Tyson
January 8, 2003, 02:01 PM
Would the presence of the scope or pistol grip make it a high powered "assault blowgun"? Or a high powered "sniper blowgun"? These blowguns clearly have no sporting purpose. This incident proves that they are the weapon of choice of criminals and they should be outlawed. Only the police and military should be allowed to carry blowguns.

January 8, 2003, 02:46 PM
I remember having one as a kid, they'd stick into wood to the point where only pliers could pull them out.

Two words: Sectional Density:D

Plan A: Stick cop with pointy object then....:scrutiny: :uhoh:

January 8, 2003, 03:18 PM
We've got a blowgun kicking around here somewhere. Very fun. Pretty darn accurate. Seems like it penetrates more than it should. I'd call that a serious attack and throw the punk to the wolves so to speak.

January 8, 2003, 03:22 PM

Easy to make. Take a length of conduit 3-5' long.

Get some conical paper cuts, and cut off the tips at about an inch. Take a razor and cut vertically about 1/4" to the tip. Take a screw and "screw" it into the slot. You can solidly set these into plywood .

January 8, 2003, 04:35 PM
Just what you could expect from a (insert word of choice)
Bring a blowgun to a gunfight!!!

January 8, 2003, 04:40 PM
gotta luv blowguns ;) esp when u shoot friends with em!

January 8, 2003, 05:18 PM
does anyone know if you can kill squirrels with the cheap blowguns that you buy at gun shows? i've always wanted to get one to zap all the tree rats in my back yard, but didn't know if they'd actually kill one.

January 8, 2003, 05:58 PM
"does anyone know if you can kill squirrels with the cheap blowguns that you buy at gun shows? i've always wanted to get one to zap all the tree rats in my back yard, but didn't know if they'd actually kill one." - cookhj

I'm going on memory here, but as I stated in my previous thread, the blowguns used to be specifically advertised for hunting. Keep in mind, these were 4'-7' models. The forty-pound anteater was used as an example. As other posters said, the penetration is suprising. Pliers are required to remove the darts fired into a 2X4. A dart with easily pierce both sides of a water-filled plastic shampoo bottle. One rascal fired a bead (without the wire) at my college roomate's denim-clad buttocks. It produced a violent response and a large bruise. (Sorry about that, Ron, I attribute it to youthful foolishness.)

My blowgun came with a number of lengths of 12" wire and a bunch of plastic beads and cones. You had to cut the wire to the desired length (generally 3-4 or so), and stick it in the plastic beads or cones. Heating the wire allowed it to melt the plastic and hold it in place. The instructions specifically stated to cut the wire at an angle with side cutters, but not to sharpen it any further, as a semi-sharp tip increased tissue damage when hunting. They had a bunch of testimonials wherein people claimed to kill animals as large as rabbits. That being said, and having hunted a few squirrels and rabbits with firearms. I'd say that hunting squirrrels with a blowgun would be inhumane. They're just not powerful enough. Headshots would probably kill, but you'd need to be probably no more than 5 or 6 yards away. A more likely scenario would have the squirrel running away with a dart stuck in his belly, to slowly die later. Field mice are probably the biggest "game" I'd consider appropriate for the blowgun. I tried this in my father's barn some years ago, but the mice seemed to know what was afoot and evaded me.

Keep in mind, I'm talking about the 5-7' long models. I've fired the 2' models seen at gunshows, and they seem to have considerably less power. When firing my blowgun, a long exhalation expelling a large quaintity of air is far superior to a short, quick puff. I guess the short barrells don't allow sufficient time for acceleration.

If you do a Google search for "blowgun hunting", you'll find a wealth of information.

Rick R
January 8, 2003, 06:10 PM
I've had one of the 5 or 6' models for years, and yes they're very accurate and surprisingly powerful. I'd bet you could put the point of a dart into the skull of a human.

If I made a traffic stop and some heathren shot me with one (or even shot at me) we'd probably have a short game of "Catch the Gold Dot".


January 8, 2003, 06:15 PM
Oleg! Runt!...<whistle> here ya go...'nuther poster idea. Some dude uses a blowgun for hunting/ sporting/recreation [positive] contrasted with an ijit above. Ain't the thingee its the intent.

What next ...close gun-shows because somebody chokes on the jerky they bought? Stain on clothing from spilling a soda?

Ever feel like using an eraser and wiping the slate clean??

January 8, 2003, 07:03 PM
It's a shame Beasley survived the incident.

Bruce in West Oz
January 8, 2003, 10:04 PM
Prohibited weapon here in Western Australia (and the rest of Oz, I think) since, oh, about the 1960s IIRC.

Annoyed me no end as a kid to see the very same advert SkunkApe mentions in American comics -- and know I could never own one!

But then, the ads for BB guns made me even sadder. (Yes, BB guns are prohibited weapons here, too.)


January 8, 2003, 10:53 PM
I might use my high pressure blow gun, aka Glock 22 on him if on duty and off he might get a Glock 20 blow dart. :p

Of course, using a baton on him would have felt so goooooooood. :cool:

January 8, 2003, 11:07 PM
I have never purchased anything from them, but seems to have plenty of good blowguns in different calibers and many lengths. If you are interested in hunting anything with a blowgun, i suggest you head on over to their message board. When i visited it last, there was a lot of useful info.

Art Eatman
January 9, 2003, 12:09 AM
A buddy of mine worked in an auto upholstery shop. They had steel needles about 4" long, with a ring on one end. Four-foot length of 1/2" OD aluminum tubing, a bit of balsa...

Rough on "rattus arboreous" and pigeons. The latter are easily taken at night, driving slowly through underpasses in a van with the sliding door locked open...:D


Marvin Gardens
January 9, 2003, 01:53 AM
This type of assault is not all that uncommon in the (California at least) prison system. The blowguns themselves will be constructed out of rolled up and wetted paper resulting in a weapon three to four feet long and about a half inch in dameter. The projectile will usually be a sharpened paper clip or piece of a razor blade with a paper or cloth tail. The projectile is usually dipped in feces, urine or blood or a cocktail consisting of all three. The inmate will usually shoot the projectile through a approximate one half inch gap at the edge of his door an attempt to hit the staff member in the neck where he or she is not protected by a stab resistant vest.

Considering the rates of HIV and Hepatitis in the system, getting hit can make for a crummy day.


January 9, 2003, 02:57 AM
I wonder is lethal force would have been justified if the officer decided to go that route?


January 9, 2003, 09:39 AM
Err, missed that. What mrat said.


January 9, 2003, 02:38 PM
HOUSE OF WEAPONS? I have two of their 6' models. I drooled over the ad with the guy holding the anteater until my mom ordered them for me way back in 1976. My kids pull them out every once in a while. Too bad they don't make them like that any more. Now I can only find those flimsy 3' models. I know I wouldn't want to get shot by one. Even my sons cheap short model is no toy.

January 9, 2003, 04:19 PM
I have the 3' model I got in tj. mexico, and no BS, with some practice it could be lethal.
I regularly get pigeons at 50 to 75'.
I also have one I made as was mentioned above constructed of 3/4" conduit 4' long, darts are paper cones with small nails driven thru the point and taped,then the cone is put into the end on pipe and cut-off at the top with razor for a good seal.
I've taken pigeons with it too.

January 9, 2003, 06:44 PM
south american tropical forest people use a blow gun to get their food(poor lil monkies..not).blowguns will kill squirrels and nephew though to amuse us one evening shooting bumblebees off their rododendrun tree with a cheap laser taped on his blowgun.worked very well.there are broadhead type darts for them too.

rock jock
January 9, 2003, 06:50 PM
Reading this story, I just can't help but think, "Is there anybody on this board who not have shot this POS if he had darted us?"

January 9, 2003, 07:06 PM
naw..smacked his head back and forth on the door frame putting him in the back.woops,musta fell.

January 9, 2003, 08:51 PM
It's actually incredibly fun to trapse around in the woods or your backyard stalking small animals doing your best indian impersonation with one of these blowguns. I had a 3' model, and they still sell everything up to the 5'+ models, and they're cheap. Also, dart design has improved in the years, you can get broad head hunting darts, standard wire darts, etc. They are nice. I've killed a squirrel in my backyard with one. Took alot of work to get close enough, and then the kill shot took some careful aim. Knocked him right off the side of the tree and nearly stuck out the opposite side of the thing. Most of the time I just shot coke cans which it skewers.

Oh boy, I'm going to get me another one, I don't know where my 3 footer is anymore... Plenty of online places selling them for like $12 with a couple dozen darts... I just ordered a 36" one from, with an assortment of darts for $11.40 (3' Special on their order page). had some decent deals too, a basic 3'er with like 12 darts for $8.

I don't think I'll attempt to shoot any cops with this blowgun though, JBTs or not, lol.

January 9, 2003, 10:24 PM
SkunkApe: I also bought two of those blowguns from that ad with the anteater. I think I got a 4" and a 6". They came with a quiver, which was a block of syrofoam which you taped to the tube and stuck the darts in. I also had a sling made up with parachute cord on mine. They were a lot of fun. As was mentioned, in no time, you could be shooting very tight groups. The perfect thing to overcome the boredom of watching television. When I bought mine (20 years ago ?) they included five or so "magnum" darts which were a yellow plastic cone used with the same wire as the beads. I tried several times to bag a chipmunk with it, but they seemed to be able to move out of the way. The sound reached them before the dart. When I moved out of my parents house I wanted to take them with me, but they were too long to justify driving across country with them in the car. I would still like to have one just for the heck of it. I have no doubt that if you hit someone at fairly close range, you could bury the dart all the way to the bead. If you hit someone in the right place I would say, it could kill them. Like the carotid artery in the neck, possibly in the trachea..................... I definitely think the use of lethal force would have been justifed for that cop.

I don't think this qualifies as an assult weapon unless you have a pistol grip, detachable mag, and a bayonet lug. Although it woud be tactical if you painted it black.

January 9, 2003, 11:23 PM
I started a little enterprise in the fifth grade where I would make these things and sell them to my classmates. (My rubic's cube fixing business was dropping off.) I used the same method simon just mentioned with sizing the paper cones to the individual rolled paper tube. Man the things were selling like hotcakes. Then one day, some dufus decided to stick a straight pin in one and glue it in (hot wax works better and sets instantly). He then shoots it accross the class and sticks it in some poor girls forehead. She was actually a good sport about it. But, needless to say, I curtailed the blowgun business.


December 22, 2010, 10:51 PM
yes a blow gun can kill squirrels. i have a i use it to hunt squirrels,last month i killed 12.jan. i,m going hunting again,

December 22, 2010, 10:53 PM
i,ve been shooting blowguns for about 4 years now and love the sport of it,try it for those new to it,its fun. i got 8 blow guns,one thats 36",48",and72".

December 22, 2010, 10:54 PM
That young man needs a Awake UP call and a bus ride to Boot camp.

December 23, 2010, 12:01 AM
When I was a pledge last year, I had kill the rats in the fraternity house basement with a blowgun. I'd sit on the steps in my suit and tie and wait for something to examine my pile of stale cheezy puffs for hours. I can assure you that they'll kill a good sized rat as dead as dirt and they're extremely accurate. What I can give a good answer for is why they wouldn't let me use rat-traps instead.

December 23, 2010, 12:06 AM
That young man needs a Awake UP call and a bus ride to Boot camp.

Yes that is JUST what we need, another moron with access to fully automatic weapons :banghead:

He has already proven pure stupidity by going to a gunfight with a blow gun!

December 23, 2010, 12:13 AM
holy crap people.

he's not a "young man" anymore. this thread is from 2003.

fareon69, welcome to THR, but please don't resurrect any more old threads.

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