Home Polk County Local **PUBLIC SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENT **

**PUBLIC SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENT **

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The Auburndale Police Department wants to inform the community about an extremely dangerous trend involving toy guns and gel beads. We have received multiple reports of individuals participating in a so-called “challenge” where they load toy Orbeez splat blasters or other air-powered guns with Orbeez gel beads. These toy guns are sometimes modified to resemble real firearms by being painted black or gray colors.

Participants have been randomly firing these gel bead projectiles from moving vehicles in “drive-by shootings” at unsuspecting victims in parks, businesses, parking lots, and residential areas. When fired from an air gun, even toy guns, these frozen gel beads can cause serious bodily injury or damage to property.

We have already responded to several incidents where people were struck and injured by these dangerous projectiles. Pointing any replica gun at another person is extremely unwise.

Parents, please educate your children on the severe risks and potential criminal consequences of participating in this reckless activity. Discharging any object from a vehicle, damaging property, or causing physical harm or panic to others can result in criminal charges being filed.

The Auburndale Police Department has zero tolerance for this kind of dangerous and unacceptable behavior that threatens the safety of our community. We urge citizens to report any such incidents immediately by calling 911.

Thank you for your cooperation in keeping our community safe.

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