General Question

holli's avatar

Is shooting someone with a water gun considered assault?

Asked by holli (487points) February 21st, 2011

Can I get in trouble for shooting a stranger with a watergun?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

35 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

It depends on the force, accuracy and motivation. This action is certainly not going to earn you new friends.

Why would you do this? How would you feel about reciprocal behavior.?

TexasDude's avatar

It’s possible, yes.

miyogdam's avatar

Depends on what country you are.

Coloma's avatar

Personally, I have always thought it would be great fun to carry a water pistol around in my car and blast obnoxious drivers. lol

Obviously I would not do it, but…hey, if it works for cats and dogs, why not apply a little behavior modification to the two legged animals that are misbehaving.

Years ago I nailed a neighborhood speeder with the turbo nozzle on my garden hose when he sped past my house again at about 50mph in a residental neighborhood across from a park full of kids and dogs.

It was PERFECT, PERFECT I tell you….just nailed the kid through his window! hahaha

crisw's avatar

“Can I get in trouble for shooting a stranger with a watergun?’”

Why on earth would you want to do this?

holli's avatar

Obnoxious screaming people with noisemakers sitting on my front lawn Sunday morning led to hallucinations of water bombing then toned down by a small practical side. Now I ask about a water gun.

talljasperman's avatar

yes… an old lady sued some kids who sprayed her in Canada with a Super-Soaker… I don’t know how it turned out.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I have seen a guy get his @$$ kicked for that out on the lake where I go boating.He shot a girl in the face with a super soaker and her boyfriend pulled this guy off his boat and taught him a lesson.People are weird enough to fill squirt guns with everything but water…
Alot of people do take that as an assault and I wouldn’t recommend doing that to strangers.

ParaParaYukiko's avatar

If you’re shooting the Wicked Witch of the West, it’s called assault with a deadly weapon.

If you’re shooting a real person, maybe. Like the others said, it certainly won’t make you any friends, and depending on who/where you shoot it puts you at risk for being sued, arrested or beaten up. I would avoid doing that.

Coloma's avatar


I’ll be sure to leave my water rockets at home if I go ever go boating with you. ;-)

From she who sits in her hot tub and nabs the neighbors sheep from 60 feet with duel 80,000 cc’s of water.
I have always loved water toys! lol

gailcalled's avatar

@holli: You ean “fantasy” and not “hallucinations,” I think.

Can you talk to them? Is the front lawn shared by you with other people? Are they violating the noise ordinances? Can you call the building superintendent or the police and ask to have your name not mentioned?

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Coloma You will be on my side and we will be loaded for bear..if the need should arise XD

Dog's avatar

It is an aggressive and personal move. I would not recommend it.

When you squirt someone for a moment they have no idea if it is water, bleach or acid. If you get their phone it will kill it. If they are wearing suede it could ruin it. You could mess up their appearance which people do not like.

But the most important thing is that you will really piss off the person. You could get your ass kicked. I would be livid if someone squirted me with a water gun.

What ever issues you have with these people a water gun is not the way to resolve it.

:::Just saw @lucillelucillelucille‘s response. :) She is correct.:::

holli's avatar

I’m more interested in if it is illegal or not. Plus, I am a fast runner.

Coloma's avatar


You could be the poster boy for banning squirt guns.
Very compelling speech! hahaha ;-)

Jeez, when squirt guns cause violence…

gailcalled's avatar

We can only speculate about the illegality of your actions. And your comment about running is simply silly.

Dog's avatar

Squirt gun puts teacher in hot water

Instructor’s use of toy draws assault charges

Copyright 2002 Houston Chronicle

To Maria Ripke, the small, red water pistol she has used in class in recent years is a teaching tool.

Bryan and Dana Adkins say it was used to assault their son, not teach him.

Now, what began as a science lesson at Baytown Junior School has evolved into a legal battle as the teacher faces charges in municipal court.

Ripke, who has taught for 10 years in Baytown’s Goose Creek school district, pleaded not guilty Thursday to an assault charge. If convicted of the Class C misdemeanor, she could be fined up to $500.

“This whole thing is frivolous harassment,” said her attorney, Frank Knight III of Baytown.

Knight contends that the charge never would have been filed if the boy’s parents were not a teacher at the school and a Baytown police officer.

“This is just a police officer using his position to say that ‘you can’t treat my son that way,’ ” he said.

But Bryan Adkins countered that if a police officer had been charged with assault he would be removed from his duties until the case was resolved. Ripke’s status remains unchanged.

The charge arose from a Feb. 1 incident in Ripke’s sixth-grade science class. She said she has used the plastic squirt gun, small enough to fit in the palm of her hand, for several years to demonstrate kinetic energy—the energy that results from motion.

In a complaint filed Feb. 11, Dana Adkins—who teaches math at the school—told police that Ripke had surprised her son by shooting him in the chest with the water pistol during class.

After the boy objected, Adkins reported, the teacher laughed and squirted water into his face.

A pretrial hearing on the case is set for May 16.

(Does this answer your question?)

holli's avatar

Maybe if I put the sprinklers on before the next marathon the noisemaker toting family will not sit outside my window… I am putting aside the super soaker for now, Fluther. Thank you.

crisw's avatar


Why, exactly, can you not just politely ask them to move, if they are bothering you?

jellyfish3232's avatar

I would love that. What better than a water gun for relieving your frustration?

m0r60n's avatar

I don’t think you could go to jail for it, no. But it would be rather annoying.

m0r60n's avatar

But why would you get in trouble for splashing or squirting water on people? Unless it looked like a real gun and you threatened them with it…

crisw's avatar


“But why would you get in trouble for splashing or squirting water on people?”

Because a world where we do anything we like to people, any time we feel like it, isn’t a very civilized, mature, or livable world.

GTL222's avatar


Disc2021's avatar

It could be considered assault, yes. If you spray someone, they may have a case for assault.

Will you be sued out of your life savings? Will you go to jail and/or face the death penalty? Probably not.

jellyfish3232's avatar

What kind of fun would a world be where you couldn’t splash people with water whenever you wanted? Our views on life seem to differ quite widely.

jca's avatar

Even considering squirting someone with a water gun seems like an immature attempt at conflict resolution.

VS's avatar

I used to have a tiny but powerful water gun. it was small enough to easily conceal in your hand, but would shoot about 25 ft away. I liked to shoot coworkers as they walked by unsuspecting. It was impossible for me to keep a straight face however, so I have to give up that form of entertainment.
Depends on who you shoot with your water pistol as to whether it would be considered assault, but I can assure you shooting strangers is a dangerous practice.

majorrich's avatar

Strictly apeaking, under the law, It could be considered simple battery. Assault is the act of putting a person in reasonable apprehension of receiving an unauthorized touching. Battery is the actual act of touching. So. if you were to walk up to someone and say “I am going to touch your nose” passes the assault test, then when you actually follow through it adds the battery charge. Then when the victim wears you out, it is technically self defense. However there is the question of disparity of force. If you end up all broken up like Beetle Bailey, the Courts may take a dim view.

Nullo's avatar

A friend of mine freaked out the TSA once by suggesting that a splash of water (from a water bottle) might cool another traveler’s temper. I would expect that a competent lawyer could cause similar grief for the squirt gun owner.

@holli Depending on where you live, it might be as simple as ordering the troublemakers to vacate. It is your lawn, after all. People have been shot for less. Check with City Hall before you drop the politeness.

gorillapaws's avatar

I would put out a lawn sprinkler.

My parents live on a golf course fairway, and golfers are constantly wandering into my parents’ garden searching for their balls. I’ve often wanted to install a motion activated sprinkler system there.

iamthemob's avatar

Actually – it’s a battery:

At common law, an intentional unpermitted act causing harmful or offensive contact with the “person” of another.

An assault is the threat of a battery – so if you threatened to shoot someone with a water gun, that would be assault.

Whether it would be prosecuted or someone would attempt to sue you for it successfully, that’s the real question. What you have to consider is the harm that could result from it. If the person is wearing something like suede or silk that could be damaged by water, then you might be responsible to pay for it. If you knocked someone into the street and they were hit by something, you could be responsible for the medical damages as well as damages to the car.

It’s important to note that the main factor is whether it’s considered offensive. If it’s reasonable to think that someone walking down the street would find it offensive to randomly get hit with water, which I think it is reasonable to think, then you’re dealing with a battery.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
LIBRARY's avatar

We DID THIS! and got kicked out of our school library…and no we are not freshman, we are ADULT COLLEGE STUDENTS OVER THE AGE OF 20!

iamthemob's avatar

@LIBRARY – wouldn’t you expect to be kicked out of the library?

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