FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. – Police in Fernandina Beach, and across the country, are warning about a dangerous social media trend.
It’s called the “Orbeez challenge.” It encourages kids to shoot strangers and each other.
Teenagers are targeting people in “drive-bys,” shooting them with small water beads.
Orbeez is a specific brand for these water beads and the guns used to shoot them. Not meant to be harmful but also not meant to be shot out of anything.
The water beads are similar in size and shape to airsoft BBs.
As a part of this trend, kids are also modifying these beads to make them more painful if someone is struck by them. Fernandina beach police say there were two incidents downtown.
Police say no one was hurt but all of the people involved were identified and released to their parents.
Wednesday night on Facebook, the Atlantic Beach Police Department posted about in the area of the Adele Grage Center and Bull Park. Someone who was out running was struck in the face by a projectile from an Orbeez gun. Police said that person was not seriously injured, and that two young people were detained.
According to police in Peachtree City in Georgia, a boy was shot with those water beads by a group of teenagers. He has bruises on his face and arm.
Although the beads are not meant to be harmful, if they hit someone, they can cause serious injuries. Officers are warning that shooting people with these beads can be considered assault with a deadly weapon.
Another concern is that the toy guns used in the challenge could be mistaken for the real deal – and could lead to more serious shootings.
Police want parents to talk to their kids about how this prank – could have dangerous – and even deadly results.