JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Volusia County Sheriff's Office wants the public to know that participating in the viral 'Orbeez Challenge' trend on TikTok can get you in trouble.
Orbeez are a soft, non-toxic, and biodegradable gel ball that can be shot via special gel blaster guns. However, the tiny balls can cause injury if it strikes a person at a high speed or in a sensitive area such as the eyes.
Deputies in Volusia County say they arrested a 19-year-old who allegedly shot an Amazon worker in his glasses and neck while he was driving.
The same shooter also allegedly shot another random adult and a 10-year-old child in the face and chest, deputies say.
Deputies identified and located the suspect, charging him with shooting into an occupied vehicle, child abuse, and two counts of battery.
The same day, deputies say two people at Wes Crile Park in Deltona were hit by pellets fired from a van that took off after the shooting.
Another victim, a man trimming trees outside a Deltona home, was shot in the back, deputies say. The man says the pellets broke the skin and left red welts. He also told deputies that there was a van involved in the incident.
Deputies say they were able to track down the van and charged an 18-year-old and two 17-year-olds with battery. The 18-year-old was also charged with two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
"It’s been reported that videos of the "Orbeez Challenge" have been circulating on TikTok during Spring Break," said the Sheriff's Office on Twitter. "Just be aware that these shootings are crimes, and when you’re identified, you may face criminal charges for your part in the challenge.
In Fernandina Beach, police say there has been two reported incidents involving this trend in the Downtown area. Those involved were identified and released to their parents.
No one was hurt in either situation, police say.
In Atlantic Beach, officers responded to kids shooting at people with these types of gel guns on Wednesday.
Police say the incident occurred in the area of the Adele Grage Center and Bull Park.
A citizen who was running on the sidewalk was struck in the face with a projectile from what turned out to be an Orbeez gun, according to police. The citizen was not seriously injured.
Officers were able to locate and detain teens who were involved. ABPD says they were charged appropriately and returned to their parents.
"This incident appears to be related to an alarming social media trend that we are taking very seriously," said police. "Shooting these projectiles at unsuspecting people is a crime. Individuals involved in these incidents are subject to criminal charges. Please speak with your kids about the dangers of conduct like this."