Police in Palos Verdes Estates drew their weapons before discovering a suspected attack by fatigue-clad gunmen Saturday was actually a pre-dawn war game involving teen-agers toting toy guns.
Officers were called to the 900 block of Via Coronel about 4:45 a.m. by a woman who heard yelling and saw three gunmen outside her home, Sgt. Bill Hetherington said.
"All we saw was the muzzles of these weapons, so, yeah, we drew down on one of them," Hetherington said. "It turned out that they were there playing war games with paint and pellet guns" which in the dark resembled automatic weapons and handguns, he said.
Detained were an 18-year-old youth, eight younger boys ages 16 and 17, a 16-year-old girl who was observing the game, and the mother of two players who was supposed to have warned police about the game but fell asleep in a nearby van, Hetherington said. All were from Redondo Beach or Hermosa Beach.
No arrests were made, but "They were strongly advised regarding the foolishness of their operation out there," Hetherington said. "These kids could have been seriously injured or killed if the situation had gone downhill."