are investigating an Aug. 4 assault of a local boater on Lake Washington who was struck by a water balloon in the head, knocking him out.
Police say the 40-year-old man was steering his boat past Faben Point on Mercer Island's North-end at around 3 p.m. when he was hit by a water balloon launched from a residence on the 2000 block of Faben Drive. The force of the water balloon — launched by a "heavy duty" sling shot from a local residence — knocked the man unconscious, according to a Woodinville man who witnessed the attack.
(Ed. Note: A YouTube video attached to this story of youthful Mercer Island water balloon hurlers was not filmed during this incident, and is intended for illustrative purposes only.)
He later regained consciousness and declined medical aid. Police were contacted about the intentional water balloon attack just after 6 p.m.
Launching water balloons at boats on Mercer Island, especially during Seafair, has become something of a tradition — but MIPD Cmdr. Dave Jokinen said depending on the circumstances, shooting a water balloon at person, vehicle or boat could be considered a crime.
"In this circumstance it certainly was an assault," he said. "The victim was injured - temporarily knocked unconscious."
A 30-year-old resident of the Faben Point home blamed the attack on a male visitor, but police say they have been unable to locate the possible suspect.
"During Seafair (and all year round) we discourage this type of behavior and the use of water balloons, funnelators (large sling shots), water cannons, etc," said Jokinen. "These items have the potential to injure and also can cause property damage."