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Post-Gazzette News Story



PPMA Offers Reward
by Bill Mills
January 2002

On the night of January 16th, 2002 one or more vandals attacked the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Western Jefferson County, Pennsylvania.  The church, which is over 100 years old, and has a membership of 24 - mostly post retirement age farmers, from the surrounding comminity, is located roughly 70 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, PA.

The damage included destruction of stained glass windows, overturning of pews, holes punched in vinyl siding, and pages torn from Bibles.  Local news media reported that the window and siding damage was done with thrown rocks and by paintball guns.

The Paintball Products Manufacturer's Association has offered a reward of $525 to anyone providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for this vandalism.  In a news release following the event, the PPMA stated, "If you have any idea who might have been involved, show the people of Pennsylvania how much we condemn people who do anything to hurt others or do damage using paintball equipment -- and who hurt paintball's reputation, too."

Airsmith Glenn Palmer, owner of Palmer's Pursuit Shop is offering an additional $500 reward - a standing offer he has made in cases of vandalism or assault using paintball equipment since the early 1990s.  

Anyone with information about the attack is asked to contact Investigator Dirk Neal, (814) 938-0510 (state police in Punxsutawney, PA).  Additionally, the PPMA says that they will
pass any leads on to the police, protecting the anonymity of the informant; email.  The PPMAA can be reached by e-mail at


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