SUWANEE -- Just a few weeks after a Lilburn Middle School student was nearly blinded when he was hit with a bleach-filled balloon, a Suwanee teenager is now facing three felony charges for throwing a water balloon at a moving car last week.
Jarrod William Reque, 19, and three female friends were reportedly having fun at the Lansfaire subdivision off Moore Road last Tuesday, filling water balloons and throwing them at each other.
According to the police narrative, they then started throwing them at "various objects" around the neighborhood and from their vehicle on Moore Road. That's when Reque allegedly pelted a passing car, cracking the windshield and leaving the driver "worried about causing an accident."
He was booked in to Gwinnett County Jail on two charges of terroristic acts (a felony), criminal damage (the felony variety), two counts of reckless conduct and counts of trespassing and obstruction -- all for throwing a water balloon.
"We'll have to see what happens, but I thought it was excessive, felony charges for water balloons," Reque's father, who asked not to be named, said Monday.
"They weren't out doing anything malicious. Kids have been throwing water balloons for years. I don't think it was the smartest thing in the world for him to do, but he knows that it wasn't right."
Two of the girls involved, both 17, are facing misdemeanor reckless conduct charges.
On May 26, 14-year-old Miguel Mesa was walking home from his last day of seventh grade when he was struck with a bleach-filled water balloon thrown from a passing van.
His eyes were severely burned. Four Meadowcreek High School students were arrested the following week and charged with felony aggravated battery.
Despite the timing and strong charges levied, Suwanee police spokesman Capt. Clyde Byers said the tragic result of the Mesa incident had no bearing in the charges brought against Reque.
"I think the driving force in the charges was the fact that it broke the windshield and the driver being startled," Byers said.
Terroristic threats and acts can be many things, but one particular code section applies here: "A person commits the offense of a terroristic act when ... While not in the commission of a lawful act, he or she shoots at or throws an object at a conveyance which is being operated."
Reque, a North Gwinnett High School student, was released Wednesday on $16,800 bond.