Teens participating in a dangerous new TikTok challenge have been arrested for attacking and injuring unsuspecting people who were being fired at using toy guns.
Police across the U.S. are warning against a dangerous new TikTok challenge called the "Orbeez challenge" which involves attacking unsuspecting people with toy guns, specifically the Orbeez gel pellet gun. There have been numerous incidents of injury to people as well as arrest of teenagers participating in the challenge.
"We continue to see teenagers...discharging splat ball guns (Orbeez) at other people...even at innocent bystanders. Now they are modifying the beads to be more painful," Peachtree City Police in Georgia reported on their Facebook page. "These can be very painful and can cause permanent injury."
The Peachtree City Police reported that in one incident, a child was riding his bicycle when he was "assaulted by a group of teens riding by shooting these weapons at him." The police department said it would be "pursuing criminal charges on all persons caught discharging these weapons at other persons on city property," adding that "it could result in felony charges and parents could also be liable for the actions of their kids."
"Please take this seriously and ensure your kids are not involved," the Peachtree City Police warned. Fox News reported that several similar incidents involving the dangerous new TikTok challenge have sprung in areas surrounding Philadelphia, Orlando, Atlanta, Phoenix, the Bay Area and more.
The New York Post reported that in Volusia County, Florida, several Orbeez shootings have also occurred, leading to four arrests so far, local police said. Security footage caught on Ring showed how a mother and her baby were shot at while walking in their driveway by a person participating in the dangerous new TikTok challenge.
Meanwhile, a 19 year old in the same county doing the dangerouns new TikTok challenge was arrested and charged with shooting into an occupied vehicle, child abuse, and two counts of battery for firing at an Amazon driver and a 10 year old child. The driver was reportedly hit in his glasses and neck, while the child was hit on the neck and chest.
WBRC reported on Sunday that two young children in Helena, Alabama were hit with projectiles from the dangerous new TikTok challenge, but were not seriously hurt. A neighbor who witnessed the incident took a photo of the license plate of the vehicle in which the assailant was in to help authorities identify the suspects, who will be criminally charged.
Similarly in Morgan Hill, California, authorities arrested a 17 year old after he shot gel balls at random pedestrians on Thursday afternoon. The pedestrians were allegedly hit with the blaster gun that was fired from a moving car. Morgan Hill Police Department's Sgt. Scott Purvis told ABC7 News that he was concerned about how easy it was for kids to get their hands on the Orbeez or create their own "bullets."
"It's sold as a toy for children five years and up," Sgt. Purvis said. "So the accessibility is extremely easy for anybody to go out and purchase these."
Reports say that some teens have been caught freezing the water gel beads on the Orbeez to increase impact. Meanwhile, the company who produces Orbeez, Spinmaster, failed to address the dangerous new TikTok challenge involving the firing of the toy guns. They are however currently promoting the "Orbeez Challenge Activity Kit," which is "inspired by TikTok's #OrbeezChallenge." The kit features six tools "to roll, shape, and crush" so that "kids can easily recreate similar effects they see online!"
Spin Master told NPR in a statement that "children's product safety is paramount" and that the company "does not manufacture or sell gel guns."