PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — A new social media challenge where teens freeze water beads and place them in toy guns that look realistic is making its way around the country.
Chase Enloe and her husband were hanging out in their Pasco County driveway Friday night with friends when a truck drove by.
“All of a sudden we see these kids in the back in the bed point at us, which we had no idea, we thought they were airsofts or some kind of weapon at us, just starting shooting at us,” Enloe said.
Chase called the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, but before they got there, the truck with purple lights underneath went by shooting at them again.
PSO is aware of a trend in which individuals, often teens, shoot “Orbeez,” or water beads, from modified water or BB guns. While this is not illegal, it’s important to participate in this activity responsibly to ensure the safety of everyone in our community. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/7Xgbcc2Xa4— Pasco Sheriff (@PascoSheriff) March 16, 2022
“One of the guys that was with us was like 'I’ve been hit. On my knee.' And we were like, 'you’ve been hit with what?'"
They eventually figured out they were hit by water beads.
“They hit my husband in the shoulder. They hit someone else very close to their head. We had a 7-month-old baby with us. What would have happened if that baby would have gotten hit,” said Enloe.
Investigators said it’s all part of a new social media challenge, sometimes called the Orbeez challenge.
They said some people have been freezing the water beads, which are meant for young kids, to make them more painful before putting them in toy guns and shooting at strangers.
There have been reports of similar cases all around the country.
Police in Georgia said they’ve even found kids painting the bright-colored guns to look like real ones.
One child in Atlanta was bruised up after being shot with the water beads.
Police said in some cases these shootings could lead to felony charges and parents could be liable for what their kids do.
Chase said teens may think this is fun, but it’s getting out of hand.
“When you just see a half-second of it you don’t know what they are shooting you with so they are lucky they are alive, honestly, with everybody having weapons as they do. They’re really lucky that they haven’t gotten hurt,” Chase said.
The Pasco Sheriff’s Office said they haven’t tracked down the truck, but are asking anyone with information to contact them at 1.800.706.2488 or https://www.pascosheriff.com/tips/.