TikTok challenge targets unsuspecting victims and police are sounding a warning

Pellets fired from air-powered guns are causing injuries and it's a challenge that's trending on TikTok.

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – It’s hot and trending on social media platform TikTok. It’s called the “Orbeez challenge” and it encourages kids to shoot at strangers and at each other.

The challenge is becoming a dangerous trend with young people shooting Orbeez, a specific brand of water beads, who are challenged to shoot them from splatter ball guns.

“Injuries to their face. Injuries to their abdomen,” said Corporal Donte Phillips of the Peachtree City Police, in the town southwest of Atlanta.

A young boy in the city was targeted while on his bicycle and suffered injuries on his face and arm.

“This is a national trend. Everyone is doing it,” said Phillips.

(Take the poll at the end of this story: Is the Challenge just child’s play?)

Unsuspected people are being targeted and consequences could be serious, police warn.

In a video from Volusia County, Fla., a woman pushing a child in a stroller was targeted. Last week, an Amazon driver was hit and on Monday there was a car crash involving several kids who were shooting at each other.

The Volusia County sheriff said he has arrested several young men that law enforcement believes were behind a number of incidents.

The sheriff’s department in Volusia County emphasized “...These shootings are crimes, and when you are identified, you may face criminal charges for your part in the challenge.”

In Fernandina Beach, north of Jacksonville, police posted on Facebook pictures of the type of guns being used.

They say they have seen two cases in their downtown area.

“We need them to understand that this is bigger than a trend. this is your life and this is other peoples’ lives that are being affected by this,” Phillips said.”

Kids who are caught could face disorderly conduct, battery and even assault charges. Local 10 News checked with agencies throughout South Florida and they have not seen cases here, at least not yet.


About the Authors:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba. 

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.