Whiteville police warn against latest TikTok ‘Orbeez Challenge’

CAPE FEAR REGION, NC (WWAY) — The Whiteville Police Department is investigating after reports of children shooting at people with a toy, following a new TikTok challenge.

The “Orbeez Challenge’ has many people running to duck and cover, as kids and young adults use “Gellyball” or “SplatRBall” toy guns to shoot at people.

Whiteville Police say in the past two weeks, they have received multiple reports from citizens claiming they have been assaulted by people using toy guns that use beads similar to “orbeez”, that are soaked in water until they become gel-like spheres.

Whiteville Police Maj. William Hinz says there has been an increased number of reports surrounding this challenge, happening in local neighborhoods and business parking lots.

“It doesn’t cause any damage per se, but it can cause injury. You know someone gets hit in the eye or something, it could put an eye out. They need to be aware of their surroundings,” said Maj. William Hinz.

As Whiteville police investigates, Major hinz says it could become an issue for the kids behind the act.

“It’s not illegal, but the after effects could be if you shoot an innocent bystander. It could be an assault charge, you could get a damage to property charge if it damages someone’s property. There’s several things, –and if it gets to that extent, appropriate charges will be filed,” said Maj. Hinz.

“Crossfire”, a local business in Wilmington offers “Gellyballing” where people can shoot the gel-like pellets in a safe indoor space with other consenting people and referees, even allowing them to bring their own toy guns.

“Different structured things we can do here that’s like organized, but it still allows kids to run around and have a good time and just kind of mess around with this without having to worry about the mess of the pain of the paintball gun,” said Levi Mullis, “Crossfire” manager.

The business has been offering the activity since december of 2020 and said there has been increased interest in the activity, as it gains more attention on social media.

“They are open to the market. You can buy them at Walmart, off Amazon, but just make sure that you are respectful to both each other and the community. Like you wouldn’t want, –like you will feel these, not like a paintball gun, but nobody wants to walk outside, especially when it’s nice out and get hit by one of these, especially when they’re not ready for it or not expecting it,” said Mullis.

Whiteville Police encourage parents to speak with their children about how to safely play with these toy guns, and the dangers of aiming them at people who aren’t taking part in the challenge.

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