Teens face assault charges for shooting Orbeez water beads at restaurant customers, beach goers.

July 25, 2022

Teens face assault charges for shooting Orbeez water beads at restaurant customers, beach goers.

LUDINGTON — A pair of teens were arrested and charged with assault and battery after allegedly shooting Orbeez water beads from their moving vehicle into a crowd of people on the sidewalk outside the House of Flavors Restaurant and others at Stearns Beach Thursday, July 21, shortly before 9 p.m., said Cpt. Steve Wietrzykowski of the Ludington Police Department.

“Several victims reported welts and pain after being hit by the Orbeez,” said Wietrzykowski. “The Orbeez is like a BB but generally not as hard.” The victims include: an 18-year-old Ludington woman, a 37-year-old Ludington man, two 42-year-old Scottville men, a 14-year-old Scottville girl, and a 20-year-old Ludington man.

An “Orbeez Challenge” on TikTok encourages people to buy Orbeez soft gel or water balls, load them in air-soft guns, and fire them at innocent victims.

“The next day (Friday, July 22), around 1:30 pm, a 42-year-old Scottville woman called 911 because a man was hanging out of a car window shooting BBs at her car on US 10 near Nelson Road,” said Wietrzykowski. “The woman provided the vehicle description to Central Dispatch. Ludington police stopped the suspect vehicle on South Washington Avenue at Danaher Street and arrested the occupants. The suspects were in a blue Jeep SUV type vehicle. The vehicle and suspect descriptions were the same as provided by several victims on July 21. The woman was lodged in the Mason County Jail, and the male was released to his mother at the police department due to his age.”

LPD received complaints about “water bullets” being fired from a Jeep at House of Flavors Restaurant customers and beach goers at Stearns Park.

House of Flavors Restaurant owner Barry Neal said he did not witness the incident but talked to a family about what happened.

“Anytime someone tries to harm someone else, even with something that may seem harmless like these ‘water bullets’, well, that’s just not cool,” Neal said.

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