The Navy has suspended all public demonstrations by its reserve SEAL teams while investigators determine how a 10-year-old girl was wounded by a plastic bullet. The child was not seriously injured.
During a Sept. 6 demonstration in Stratford, servicemen portraying terrorists drove up to a boat ramp in a truck and "kidnapped" a volunteer victim.The SEALs then emerged from the waterfront swamp grass while others landed on a high-speed inflatable raft, guns blazing, and rescued the hostage.
The girl told investigators that she "felt like something stung her in the arm." Paramedics treated her at the scene for a small puncture wound to her left arm, initially thought to be caused by a rock or other debris kicked up during the demonstration. A plastic bullet was removed the next day. While not as dangerous as metal bullets, the plastic bullets can be lethal.
The weapons carried by both the mock terrorists and the SEALs were supposed to be loaded only with blanks.
There will be no more air shows, simulated hostage rescues or other exhibitions until the investigation by the Commander Naval Surface reserve force is complete, said Patricia O'Connor, a Navy spokeswoman in San Diego.