Cops have warned of the latest TikTok challenge which sees pranksters shooting unsuspecting victims chasing gel pellet guns.
The craze – dubbed the Orbeez Challenge, after the brand of gel gun commonly used – caused injuries and led to criminal charges.
In video captured by a Ring surveillance camera, a mother in Florida is seen pushing her toddler’s stroller as a car passes behind her driveway. Shots ring out.
‘Are you fucking kidding?’ she asks. Police did not say whether the mother or her child were injured.
In Peachtree City, Georgia, police released photos of a child with a bloody nose and marks on his chest after he was allegedly shot by teenagers who ‘modified’ the beads to make them more painful.
“This child was not involved on his bike on the way when he was attacked by a group of teenagers who shot him with these weapons,” police said on Facebook. “The police department will pursue criminal prosecution of anyone caught discharging these weapons at others on city property.”
Meanwhile, Canadian toymaker Spin Master is currently marketing a 2,000 bead set under the name “Orbeez Challenge”. The company does not manufacture the toy guns used by those participating in the “challenge.”
On Sunday afternoon, videos with the hashtag #OrbeezChallenge garnered nearly 153 million views on TikTok.
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A mother pushes her child’s stroller down her driveway in Volusia County, Florida. Meanwhile, a car drives behind them and starts shooting gel beads as part of the Orbeez challenge.
‘Are you fucking kidding?’ we hear the mother ask. Police did not say if there were any injuries.
The Orbeez challenge involves loading toy guns with Orbeez polymer balls, which are sold separately. Beads can cause injury when used as a projectile
A child in Peachtree City, Georgia was left with a bloody nose after being attacked by random teens while riding his bike
The child was also left with marks on the body. Police said they will ‘pursue criminal charges against anyone caught discharging these weapons at others on city property’
Some of the toy guns used look very realistic, adding to the possibility that in addition to the sound the marbles make when fired, the challenge could be mistaken for a more dangerous attack and lead to deadly retaliation.
A video on TikTok shows a young man wielding what looks like a toy machine gun filled with Orbeez beads on school property.
He pulls it out and begins shooting at other students parked in front of a school bus. Another vehicle passes, the driver pulling out his own loaded toy gun.
“Several jurisdictions have received reports of people being affected by Orbeez – gel balls fired from toy guns,” the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said. “Just know that these shootings are crimes, and when you are identified, you may face criminal charges for your role in the challenge.”
Volusia deputies have charged three teenagers – one 18 and two 17 – with battery after shooting three people with gel beads from inside a van, including a man who was shot in the his back as he cut the trees in front of his house in Deltona.
The 18-year-old was charged with two additional counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, an offense punishable by one year in prison.
The sheriff’s office has released multiple videos of Orbeez shooting incidents.
One video shows the moment an Amazon driver was struck by the beads, while a third video claims to show a car accident “involving several children pulling pellets at each other”.
Volusia deputies arrested the 19-year-old man who shot the Amazon driver, who was shot in the glasses and neck as he completed his journey.
The same shooter also shot another random adult and a 10-year-old child in the face and chest. He was accused with shooting into an occupied vehicle, child abuse and two grievous bodily harm.
A video with the Orbeez challenge hashtag posted on TikTok shows someone brandishing a toy gun on school grounds and shooting students near a school bus
Volusia County deputies released footage of an Amazon driver who was shot in the goggles and neck as he completed his route
Deputies arrested a 19-year-old man, who had also punched another random adult and a 10-year-old child, for the incident. He was charged with shooting into an occupied vehicle, child abuse and two assaults.
Orbeez beads expand when placed in water. They are made of super absorbent polymer, which is classified as a hydrogel when mixed with water.
In Peachtree City, Georgia, about 30 miles southwest of Atlanta, authorities are still looking for the teenagers who shot a child while riding a bicycle.
“Now they modify the beads to be more painful,” the police department wrote on Facebook. ‘As you can see from the attached pictures of an incident [Monday] on the way to the carriage, these can be very painful and can cause permanent injury.
A third video claims to show a car accident ‘involving several children shooting each other’
“In some cases, this could lead to felony charges and parents could also be held responsible for the actions of their children. Even just shooting them at city property (not another person) is a violation of city ordinance. Please take this seriously and make sure your children are not involved.
The manufacturer Spin Master claims that its products are not being used properly in the challenge.
“The safety of children’s products is paramount at Spin Master, and we are committed to providing children and their families with the highest quality toys, games and activities. Spin Master does not manufacture or sell gel guns,’ the company said. NPR in a report.
“Orbeez are designed for educational, creative and sensory play and are not intended to be used as projectiles or inserted into mechanisms.”