Naked Cyclists In St. Louis Shot With Paintball Gun By Angry Neighbor Who Doesn’t Like Public Nudity

'He shot the kid right in front of me three or four times and then pointed the gun at me,' said one of the cyclists.

a man aims a paintball gun
micahchelf / Pixlr

'He shot the kid right in front of me three or four times and then pointed the gun at me,' said one of the cyclists.

Naked bicyclists riding through a St. Louis neighborhood were shot at with a paintball gun, allegedly by an angry neighbor who didn’t care for the display of public nudity, Yahoo News reports.

The World Naked Bike Ride, as its name suggests, is a worldwide day in which people ride bicycles in the nude. It’s intended to promote bicycling as well as body positivity. But as the St. Louis cyclists rolled through one neighborhood, they were met by a neighbor who was anything but positive.

Authorities say that a neighbor, apparently outraged by the public display of nudity, grabbed a paintball gun and fired several shots at the cyclists as they rode by.

Witness Brian Krazer was filming when the assault took place.

“He shot the kid right in front of me three or four times and then pointed the gun at me,” Krazer said.

Then, Krazer said the assailant ran into the street and started shooting at the cyclists.

“It was pretty scary,”he explained.

In a video of the event, which Krazer posted to Facebook, some of the cyclists can be heard exclaiming in pain when they’re hit. You can watch Krazer’s video of the assault by clicking this link, but be warned: the video contains nudity, violence, and strong language, and is most assuredly not safe for watching at work.

As of this writing, no arrests have been made.

The assailant’s motives also remain unclear, although most reports about this crime conclude that the assailant was enraged by the display of public nudity. It’s certainly what ride organizer Andrea Hitsman believes, as she told St. Louis’ KSDK-TV.

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“Someone was shooting one of the riders with a paintball and the man appeared to be angry,” she said.

Fortunately, says Hitsman, the angry neighbor “didn’t mar the event at all.”

World Naked Bike Ride Day has been a thing since 2004. What it means and what it’s about largely depend on whom you ask, says Riverfront Times writer Danny Wicentowski. To some, it’s about clean energy. To others, it’s about body positivity. To others still, it’s about the joy of bicycling. Some participants have made it about cannabis, somehow, according to Wicentowski.

Regardless, it’s technically considered a political protest. That’s how the cyclists can ride naked through St. Louis — and also Chicago, New Orleans and other cities — without running afoul of nudity laws. They call it a political protest and thus, an act of free speech protected by the First Amendment.