Roanoke Police receive 40-plus calls about “Splat R ball” in one week

Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 6:10 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Roanoke City Police Department is warning the community about incidents involving Splat R Ball guns, also known as “Orbeez.”

The department received more than 40 calls about splatter balls in the last week. Callers reported kids firing toy guns at people and cars. Roanoke City Police Department Field Training Officer Christian Madera says misusing them could bring consequences.

“It starts off with a couple of kids just shooting off back and forth, and then they start moving on to targets that are close by innocent bystanders, shooting at them,” said Madera. “That’s when we get calls for service about it.”

Now, officers say they’re trying to warn parents and get ahead of the curve.

“We advise the parents to notify the kids as to where and how they can use it. It’s okay to play with their friends and family,” added Madera. “Either in front of their house or where they may be. But just not to start pointing it off to other people that are not involved.”

Police say misuse of these toys could result in charges.

“They can be charged with assault, which is a misdemeanor. If they’re driving around shooting at vehicles, they can be charged for reckless driving,” explained Madera. “And if they’re shooting at cars that aren’t parked and are moving, they can get charged for firing missiles to a moving vehicle, which is a felony.”

Officials said the incidents were mainly from the Downtown Roanoke area, but have spread to other areas of the city. Earlier this week Danville Police Department issued a similar statement.

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