Rock-throwing 16-year-old shot with crossbow.

San Diego police say a 16-year-old boy throwing rocks at a sport utility vehicle was struck by a crossbow arrow fired by a passenger.

Police say the shirtless boy and a friend were throwing rocks at a black Toyota RAV4 in the Linda Vista neighborhood Monday afternoon when a passenger fired a crossbow out the window.

The boy was shot in the right side and was taken to a hospital. The San Diego Union-Tribune says his injuries are not life-threatening.

His name wasn't released.

Nobody has been arrested.

Inference: If the police know he was throwing rocks at an SUV, then they probably know who was in the SUV and who fired the crossbow.

My take: Ok, I'm torn. Rocks are deadly weapons in the right circumstances, and if the person in the SUV felt that his safety was threatened then firing the crossbow at the assailant was completely legitimate. However, if these were normal hand-sized rocks then it's unlikely that they'd be able to endanger people inside an SUV. The SUV owner has a right to protect his property even if his life isn't in danger, especially if he attempted to warn off the attacker before using deadly force against him.

But! Driving away and calling the police would have been the more prudent choice, especially since law enforcement is at likely to come down hard on the victim (Mr. Crossbow) as on the attacker. Mr. Crossbow will probably be sued and will end up with a lot more trouble and expense than he would if he had driven away. That may not be Right, but it's very probable.

It's very risky to use force to protect property if you can't make a credible claim that you were afraid for your life.

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