New TikTok challenge leading to injuries and arrests
April 12, 2022

Police are warning against a new viral TikTok challenge that involves shooting strangers with Orbeez, a soft gel-like pellet fired from an Orbeez blaster or an airsoft-like fire arm.

The Fernandina Beach Police Department posted about the challenge on Facebook. “The Orbeez is soft, non-toxic, and biodegradable, but could cause injury if striking a person at a high speed or in a sensitive area such as the eyes,” they warned. “This ‘trend’ also has the potential to cause fear or panic in that some of these gel blaster guns could be mistaken for an actual firearm.”

The department has already made several arrests connected to the TikTok challenge. Charges include shooting into an occupied vehicle, battery, child abuse, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Mitch McKinney, a police chief in Apex, North Carolina said “A lot of the time what we’re seeing is young people doing this, especially with the TikTok challenge. It’s certainly not the wisest of decisions and it is unsafe.” He continued, “I know we all think of that famous holiday movie, ‘you’ll put your eye out’ kind of scenario. We don’t want any of that.”

Apex police has also commented that victims of this challenge may not immediately recognize the challenge to be a prank and return fire with an actual firearm.

TikTok challenge

Police in Peachtree City, Ga., posted this photo on Facebook. The child was hit by Orbeez balls which were somehow modified to inflict more damage while riding his bike. (Photo credit: Peachtree City Police Department)

In Marshall, a town in the west of Michigan, the local Police Department has received multiple reports of pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists being shot at by people in moving vehicles. They, along with several other police departments in western Michigan have arrested and charged several individuals with assault for crimes related to the TikTok challenge.

What else do police not recommend?

Police: Do not rig vehicles with flash bangs as theft deterrent

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