Yale police officers arrested Matthew Ippolito ’06 after a paintball gun he was holding went off and hit another Yale student in the face early Saturday morning, University Deputy Secretary Martha Highsmith said Monday.
The female student that was injured was taken to the Yale-New Haven Hospital after the incident and released on Monday morning, a spokesperson for the hospital said. Highsmith, who oversees the University Police, said Ippolito’s case is scheduled to be reviewed by the New Haven Superior Court on Elm Street.
“University police arrested him and charged him with a misdemeanor,” Highsmith said. “The incident happened early Saturday morning, that is to say, at an event or gathering that started Friday night.”
Ippolito said he is scheduled to appear in court again in the next couple of weeks.
The incident took place in Ippolito’s apartment at 31 High Street. Only one other person was in the room besides him and the female student when the paintball gun was fired, he said.
Ippolito said he did not fire the paintball gun on purpose and that he had not consumed alcohol prior to the incident. Ippolito said the gun might have accidentally gone off because it was a “cheap, 25 dollar” gun.
“It accidentally went off. It was by no means intentional,” Ippolito said. “I happened to be holding it and it went off in my hand.”
He said he has been acquainted with the female student that was injured since his freshman year and regrets what happened.
“She’s one of my good friends. Obviously, I didn’t intend to hurt her,” Ippolito said. “I just hope she feels better.”
Ippolito said he handed her a towel to protect the wound after the paintball was fired but that he and the other person present could not tell exactly where in the face she had been hit. He said he and another friend took the injured woman to the Yale-New Haven Hospital between 2 and 3 a.m.
“We took a cab to the hospital,” Ippolito said.
Ippolito said he does not know whether the woman will press charges.
A spokesperson for the New Haven Police Department said there was no record of the female student having filed a complaint against Ippolito. University Police Chief James Perrotti was unavailable to comment on the case Monday afternoon.
Ippolito declined to comment on whether or not he has hired an attorney for his court appearance.