The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, December 17, 1999


Potato gun injures young resident

On December 11 at about 8:35 p.m., Sgt. Tom Whelan and Officer Bill Burgess assisted the fire department at a medical emergency at a residence on Westford Street. A 12-year-old Carlisle boy was severely injured as a result of a discharge from a "potato gun." A potato gun is a homemade device made from PVC pipe. A potato is pushed into one end of the PVC pipe. At the other end, an alcohol-based product, such as hair spray, is sprayed into the pipe and then the potato is detonated with a sparking device. The potato is capable of being launched up to 100 yards. In this particular incident, the young boy received severe eye trauma.

The incident is under further investigation. The police department considers these devices to be illegal under Chapter 266 section 102A, pertinent to "infernal machines" and possession is a felony in Massachusetts.

Apparently, this device is somewhat widespread in the suburbs. However, the police department is urging parents who might come upon one of these devices to destroy the item or turn it in to the police department before another such tragedy occurs.

1999 The Carlisle Mosquito