Via Tapinto New Brunswick Editor Chuck O’Donnell
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The New Brunswick Police Department is investigating an incident in which four people were struck with projectiles, possibly from an airsoft or toy blaster gun.
The victims were walking near the intersection of George and Bayard streets at about 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 9 when the occupants of a vehicle shot pellets at them, according to a safety alert from the Rutgers University Police Department.
One victim refused medical attention after sustaining a non-life-threatening injury.
The vehicle was described as a tan Toyota Sienna minivan that left Bayard Street toward Joyce Kilmer Avenue.
One of the four victims is described as being “affiliated with Rutgers,” terminology used by Rutgers Police to describe a university student or staff or faculty member.
There have been widespread reports of drive-by-style shootings in which frozen water pellets, made by Orbeez, have been fired at unsuspecting people.
The trend has been traced back to a TikTok trend called the “Orbeez Challenge,” and it comes after other TikTok trends have dared people to eat Tide Pods liquid laundry detergent and lick toilet seats to prove they’re immune to COVID-19.
ABC News in New York reported that police in Westwood, N.J., were investigating an incident last month when a teen was seen shooting Orbeez water gel pellets.
TAPinto Westfield reported on March 31 that police there were exploring “all possible motives” in a pair of pellet gun shootings that targeted people in the town.
In a twist to the Orbeez Challenge, Nutley Police said teens shot the pellets at a passing car, according to a TAPinto Nutley report.
Shootings stemming from the Orbeez Challenge have injured people in several states, but one of the most disturbing came when a woman pushing a child in a stroller was the victim of a drive-by Orbeez shooting.
The Port Orange Police Department is investigating that incident, according to the Volusia County, Fla., Sheriff’s Office.
The New Brunswick Police Department asks that anyone with information, or who may have been in the area at the time, contact the NBPD’s Detective Bureau at 732-745-5200.