A 21-year-old man has been arrested and charged after allegedly shooting a boy in the face with a gel gun in Rotorua.

The incident occurred on Pererika St on November 1.

A mother and her 11-year-old son were taking part in a rubbish pick-up organised by the Scouts when the man allegedly fired gel gun pellets from a passing car. The child was injured after being struck in the face, police said.

“Fortunately the injuries suffered by the young boy were not serious, but it was a distressing incident for him and his mum, and for the other children who were nearby at the time,” Detective Sergeant Richard Lang said.

“I’m pleased for all concerned that we have been able to hold someone to account for this senseless behaviour.”

The man is also accused of “similar offending” against two other people on October 31.

He faces three charges of discharging a firearm in or near a place/dwelling, and one charge of behaving threateningly.

He is scheduled to appear in the Rotorua District Court next Wednesday.