Ocala teen arrested in connection with ‘Orbeez Challenge’ shootings

Orbeez. (Photo: Paul Gorbould/Flickr/Creative Commons)

OCALA, Fla. — An Ocala teen is facing battery charges after participating in the so-called “Orbeez Challenge”.

Detectives said the 16-year-old, who has not been named, was the get-away driver in two separate incidents in Ocala last week.


According to police, the first incident happened outside the YMCA on SE 17th St where several suspects shot the victim in the face and arm several times before jumping into a car and driving off.

Investigators said a short time later, the same group pulled into a Taco Bell drive-thru where they shot another unsuspecting victim in the chest.

Read: ‘Orbeez Challenge’: New Smyrna Beach HS student accused of shooting school employee with toy gun

Detectives said they were able to identify the car and driver from surveillance video taken at the time of the shooting.

The arrest is just one of several across Central Florida involving the social media challenge in which unsuspecting people have been shot with the gel beads.

Read: Deputies arrest teens involved in dangerous new social media trend

Police warn that anyone who participates in the social media challenge will be arrested and ask parents to talk to their children about the dangers of participating in this type of activity.

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Matt Reeser

Matt Reeser, WFTV.com

Matt Reeser joined WFTV in 1998 as a news photographer and has worked for television stations in Kentucky and West Virginia.

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