PINEVILLE, N.C. — The Pineville Police Department is warning people about an internet challenge that has caused serious injuries.
Police want to remind people that the social media trend to shoot others using Orbeez beads is considered assault.
A woman at Carolina Place Mall said she thought someone was firing bullets at her, but the projectiles turned out to be gel beads.
“Luckily, she didn’t get hurt,” Sgt. Josh Harb said. “Didn’t get hit, and it just splattered on her.”
Police said the victim called 911 when it happened earlier this month and was convinced there was someone shooting at her.
“It scared her,” Harb said. “She didn’t know what it was. She heard the little shots from it and had no idea what was going on.”
Pineville police officers are worried because these incidents could come across as a shots-fired call.
“When we get a shots-fired call, we have all hands on deck,” Harb said. Every officer in the town of Pineville is going to that. Before, when we had shots fired at the mall, we had other agencies respond. Luckily, we got to this one quick enough we didn’t have to call in all the other agencies to help us out in that.”
The incident is the latest among several nationwide, which is spreading thanks to a TikTok challenge.
A few weeks ago, a Charlotte student was at school when she was shot in the eye with a gel bead.
Her mother said Friday the high school freshman is recovering after costly visits to the ER and a specialist.
“She is doing better,” parent Ana Rosa Alonso said. “A lot better right now. I’m just thinking of those medical bills. Who is going to pay those medical bills?”
(Watch the video below: NC police warn against new TikTok challenge called ‘Orbeez Challenge’)
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