TikTok challenge turns violent

By Laura Haefeli

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    WOODLAND, California (KOVR) -- Another viral TikTok challenge has gone wrong, but this time in Woodland.

Police say the “Orbeez Challenge” encourages young people to shoot gel beads out of toy guns.

“It can get really out of hand,” said one Woodland High School student. “Sometimes, they hurt if you’re closer range.”

The Woodland Police Department is warning neighbors of the Orbeez challenge. Since February, Woodland police have received at least one report a week of a victim shot by one of the gel pellets.

“There can be injuries from it,” said Officer Victoria Danzl.

Officer Danzl said one victim was a local construction worker who was shot in the face mid-shift.

“Orbeez guns are to be used with your friends hanging around, not in public to random strangers,” said Angelica, a Woodland High senior. “There’s a lot of circumstances where that could escalate.”

Woodland police shared that same concern, especially since some of the guns being used look just like the real thing.

“When we see a gun, we don’t have a lot of time to make decisions as to whether it’s a real gun or fake gun,” Officer Danzl said. “When it looks like a real gun, we have to determine whether or not we have to use lethal force.”

So, if TikTokers are caught, will the punishment fit the crime? Officer Danzl says suspects could be hit with vandalism, misdemeanor battery and worse.

“If someone has a significant injury based on your actions, it can be a felony crime and you can spend time in jail because of that,” she said.

Woodland police said there have been several jurisdictions across the United States that have made arrests based on battery charges.

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