Teen arrested for allegedly shooting Orbeez gel balls at people

A 17-year-old was arrested for allegedly firing gel beads at people as they were walking in Morgan Hill, authorities said.

Morgan Hill police were called at around 3:48 p.m. on Thursday to the area of East Main Avenue and the Highway 101 overpass after two people were hit by the liquid-filled balls, also known as water beads, Orbeez, or Splat balls.

Authorities said the projectiles were shot from a moving vehicle. One of the victims was struck on the back of the head, and the second person was struck on the arm. Both only sustained minor injuries that did not require medical attention.

Officers launched an investigation and were able to identify the involved vehicle and the driver. Officers arrested the teen at his home without incident. His name was not given.

During a search of the vehicle, officers located a Splat-R-Ball blaster in the backseat of the suspect vehicle. 

He was transported to Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall on charges of discharging a BB device in a grossly negligent manner.

"In the past several weeks, many parts of the country have experienced increased reports of incidents involving pedestrians being shot at with gel or water-based pellets..." Morgan Hill police said in a statement. "If struck with one of these pellets, they frequently cause painful welts. However, if struck in the face or eyes, these pellets can cause major injury."

The police department warned that it will pursue criminal charges against anyone caught discharging projectiles from those devices.

It's the third incident of its kind to have happened in the past two weeks.