Shooting a Football Fan with a Signal Rocket

A game of football can, even after the fact, generate forensic interest. A case in point:

Singular Case of Shooting a Football Fan with a Signal Rocket,” M. Kobek, K. Rygol, C. Chowaniec, A. Nowak, Forensic Science International, Volume 147, Supplement, 17 January 2005, Pages S43-S44. The authors, at the Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Details::

“The authors present a very rare case of fatal injuries resulting from shooting a parachute signal rocket with a hand operated launcher of signal pistol kind by pseudo-football fans…. Inspection of the victim’s trousers showed an ‘unshapely tear with molten selvages in the perineal region and also a torn seam in the duteal region’. From the expert’s opinion on physicochemical examinations it appeared that the above-mentioned event was caused by shooting a parachute signal rocket from a ‘hand operated launcher’ being the body of a cartridge (without the use of a signal pistol). Both initiation of the cartridge action and its consequences occurred in the victim’s trousers (according to the expert’s opinion there was no tangible evidence that the cartridge was shot outside).”

BONUS: The blogger known as Skeptical Scalpel alerts us to this recent case. The State Journal (which calls itself “West Virginia’s only business newspaper) reported on February 3:

Marshall student sues Alpha Tau Omega fraternity over bottle rocket incident

A Marshall University student is suing the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity after a fellow fraternity member allegedly shot a bottle rocket out of his anus.

Louis Helmburg III filed the suit in Cabell County Circuit Court against the fraternity and member, Travis Hughes, following incidents at a May fraternity party.

Helmburg claimed several underage party attendees, including Hughes, were drinking.

“Defendant Hughes was highly intoxicated on this date and time, and decided in his drunken stupor that it would be a good idea to shoot bottle rockets out of his anus on the ATO deck,” the suit stated.

However, this plan quickly went awry….