EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — It’s a social media challenge with potential consequences and serious injuries. It’s called the Orbeez Challenge and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office is warning the community about it.
Kids are using specific guns to shoot tiny water gel beads at total strangers and filming their reactions and then posting the video on social media.
The Sheriff’s Office wants to let parents and guardians know about the dangers of this challenge. Deputies have seen an increase in reports and particularly in the Falcon area.
Those unsuspected are being targeted and are getting hurt. People can face felony-level charges because of this careless trend.
“It encourages the participants to shoot these water beads in special high power water bead guns at folks in our community, it’s causing serious injury and people caught doing this are facing serious felony-level crimes,” Sergeant Jason Garrett said.
A Colorado Springs teen says she and her friends only play the game among each other.
“We play by we all have each other’s locations and it’s a game of ‘Hide and Seek’ where we try and find each other and we shoot each other with these water beads and it’s a lot of fun,” the teen said.
She claims the water gel beads don’t leave a mark and they break upon impact.
“It hurts way less than an airsoft gun, like when it hits you, you can’t even feel if anything hit you,” she explained. “I’ve gotten hit in the face and I didn’t even feel it.”
Sometimes the beads are frozen which can be more harmful and destructive. The sheriff’s office is also concerned about the guns since the velocity settings can be altered to be similar to the speed of a BB gun.
“Most troubling is these water bead guns look very real, they could be easily mistaken for a real firearm and catastrophically that could result in someone who is just simply out to do a prank even though it is harmful being confused with a lethal threat or someone in the community or someone in law enforcement officer engaging them as such and we want to avoid that in our community,” Sgt. Garrett explained.
“I wouldn’t mistake this for a real gun, you can obviously tell it’s a toy gun,” the teen added.
The Sheriff’s Office is encouraging parents and guardians to talk with their kids about this challenge that can be dangerous and have serious consequences.