Chicago Area Sees Another Case of Social Media Challenge That Encourages Teens to Shoot Splatter Ball Pellets at Bystanders: Police

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Suburban Woodstock reported a case of "The Orbeez Challenge" on Monday, which encourages teens to drive around shooting splatter ball pellets at unknowing bystanders, police warned.

The Woodstock Police Department responded to the area Walmart Monday and learned that people had been shot by water pellets while in the parking lot, according to a release Tuesday.

Upon investigation, police discovered that the attack was part of "The Orbeez Challenge," a popular TikTok trend which uses water filled gel pellets that "shoot similar to airsoft pellets and can cause welts to exposed skin."

Those shot in this incident were not injured, police said. As of Tuesday evening, the suspect or suspects had not been identified.

Police warned that those who participate in the challenge can be arrested and charged with a crime.

The Elmhurst Police Department had also received at least two reports in March of teens participating in the online trend.

On March 13 at approximately 6 p.m., officers stopped a car with five teenage boys that had shot splatter balls at both adult and child pedestrians at three locations, police said.

According to officials, the teens were arrested, their car was impounded and they were referred to DuPage Juvenile Court for Aggravated Battery charges.

In another incident, four teenagers shot a woman with a splatter ball gun at Elmhurst's Berens Park on March 27 at approximately 8 p.m., officials said. An investigation this week found and identified the group of teens, and juvenile charges were pending.

"These confiscated splatter ball guns are sold as toys, but can cause injury, and should only be used under parental supervision with appropriate safety protection. Parents are asked to talk to their children about this dangerous trend and warn them of the potential injuries to victims and legal consequences," Elmhurst police said in a warning.

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