CHULA VISTA, Calif. — It's the latest TikTok challenge that's hitting the nation and people across San Diego County, literally.
It's called the Orbeez Challenge. Kids take soft ball toys called Orbeez and now Orbeez specific guns, and then shoot their friends or strangers and catch the prank on camera to post it to social media.
Chula Vista Police say that they've had dozens of these incidents reported in the area alone. A lot of these kids think it's just a prank but what they don't know is that they could get charged with a felony and end up doing jail time.
Dan Peak with Chula Vista Police shared one incident that could have been deadly with the Orbeez Challenge.
"They (the kids) shot into what they thought was a group of their friends and hit some of those individuals that happened to be armed with a real weapon. Luckily, officers were in the area and were able to quickly act and take everybody into custody and potentially prevent a deadly situation." Said Peak.
Peak says, the Orbeez Challenge is becoming a problem.
"We, to date, have had over 40 incidents where people called in to be a witness to seeing kids shooting these at individuals and we've actually had 9 crime reports from victims shot with these pellets," Peak said.
Peak also shared the challenge is way more dangerous than it looks on TikTok.
"If you got shot in the face or the eye, you could easily lose an eye with it and it would be considered assault with a deadly weapon."
For those who've been hurt in the Orbeez Challenge, bruises follow like the ones shared in pictures CBS 8 received from a victim who wants to remain anonymous.
The pictures show several circular, red welts on a child’s skin. Peak says this has been going on in Chula Vista alone for the last couple of months and the victims are usually unsuspecting bystanders
"They were out jogging or walking their dog, just being completely innocent victims when kids unfortunately, pulled up and pulled this prank on them," said Peak.
Our anonymous victim says their kids were shot while riding their bike and skateboard to school on Monday, March 7 when a black 4-door car pulled up with what appeared to be high school kids inside, who rolled down their window and started shooting at smaller kids hurting them.
If you become a victim, Peak offers this advice, "Try to get that license plate. Be a great witness. Try to get a good description of who shot you. These can be really dangerous."
Peak also describes what happens if you or your kid gets caught hurting someone in the Orbeez Challenge.
"They will now have a criminal record. Injuring a person could turn into a civil case so the parents could be responsible as well."
Peak also says, the stakes may be higher than that like another case in Chula Vista.
"One party is shooting Orbeez guns, the next party is shooting real guns back."
He shares this message to parents, "Be aware that kids are number one, doing this prank. And number 2, if they're going out with their friends with these Orbeez guns, they may not just be shooting each other, and it may be used for this prank."
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