Call to hand in dangerous toy after accident

Jacinta CantatoreHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Monica Benzie is urging parents to turn in the air-pump toy guns after her son David, 7, was accidentally shot in the eye with one of the pellets.
Camera IconMonica Benzie is urging parents to turn in the air-pump toy guns after her son David, 7, was accidentally shot in the eye with one of the pellets. Credit: Jacinta Cantatore – Harvey-Waroona Reporter

While most families were enjoying the fireworks at the Harvey Show last weekend, a Harvey mother was comforting her seven-year-old son in an ambulance after he was accidentally shot in the eye by a prohibited toy gun at the showgrounds.

Monica Benzie is urging other parents to hand the dangerous toys in to police who are investigating the origin of the illegal air-pressured weapon.

“I’m not calling for a ban; they’re already prohibited,” Mrs Benzie said.

About 7pm on April 27, David Benzie, was sitting on a picnic blanket with his brother Jon and sister Evelyn waiting for the fireworks to start.

About 10m away on a nearby picnic blanket a classmate was playing with a toy gun purchased from one of the show’s stall holders when the pistol accidentally fired a round.

The solid crystalline gel pellet hit David in the pupil of his eye, scratching his cornea and pupil and leaving remnants of the broken pellet under his eyelid.

Mrs Benzie rushed him to on-site ambulance officers, who sprang into action and rushed David to hospital.

“I felt a lot of pain,” David said.

“I told the ambulance lady 10 out of 10.”

An image of the type of projectile toy gun involved in the incident.
Camera IconAn image of the type of projectile toy gun involved in the incident.

Now the family is waiting to find out if David has received permanent eye damage.

“We thought they just made a noise, we didn’t know they actually shot pellets,” Mrs Benzie said.

“So not only are they in breach of the law, but in breach of the agricultural society’s guidelines for stallholders.”

Harvey police Sen. Const. Dave Herrington said investigations were ongoing, but he confirmed the plastic guns capable of projecting solid plastic and water-filled plastic pellets were illegal in Western Australia.

“We urge any other parents who purchased these items to hand them in to local police,” Sen. Const. Herrington said.

“If you are unsure, bring it in and we can check it for you.”

An agricultural society spokesperson said show organisers were fully cooperating with police and their thoughts were with the family and the anguish they must be feeling right now.

Mrs Benzie said she and David did not blame the other child involved.

“I feel horrible for him as well,” she said.

“By the time we had arrived at the hospital, the boy’s mother had already called hospital staff to check David was OK,” Mrs Benzie said.

David joked he might have to play a prank or two on his friend before he will call it even.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails