Attorney argues client wasn’t reckless when arrow struck young girl in Silverhill, judge disagrees

Baldwin County

BAY MINETTE, Ala. (WKRG) – A preliminary hearing was held Thursday in a Bay Minette courtroom for a man charged with reckless assault after striking a young girl with an arrow earlier this year. 

It was a Saturday night in May when Ryan Archer was using a bow and arrow outside a friend’s home in Silverhill. His attorney Robert Stankoski says Archer was aiming for a target when one of those arrows missed, sending it soaring over a 6ft privacy fence into the neighbors yard where a graduation party was underway.

“Unfortunately in a horrible, tragic unfortunate circumstance one of the arrows he was firing actually hit the ground and bounced over the fence and struck the neighbors daughter,” said Stankoski Thursday in Bay Minette.

The 3-year-old girl was on top of a water slide on the other side of the fence, according to a Silverhill police officer who was first on scene. He testified Thursday in a Bay Minette courtroom the arrow pierced through the child’s left arm and became lodged in her torso, just centimeters away from her heart.

“Of course we argue to the judge that firing an arrow at a target in the ground, where it had a dirt mound and then a fence behind it, was adequate security that something like this shouldn’t have happened,” added the defendant’s attorney.

The girl survived the incident. Archer right now is charged with reckless assault, a felony charge. The attorney Thursday argued his client’s behavior wasn’t reckless, requesting the charge be reduced to a misdemeanor.

“The fact that he fired the area and it went a little lower than it should have. Arrows are frictionless so they have an opportunity to hit the ground and kind of spin off,” said Stankoski.

Judge William Scully disagreed with Stankoski in court, calling the act reckless because the arrow was shot in the direction of the neighbor’s property. The case will now be presented to a grand jury. 

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