PLEASANTON, Calif. - A man who was struck by gel beads fired from a weapon while riding bikes with his 6-year-old daughter in Pleasanton said Tuesday that he was frustrated by what he called "a drive-by shooting."
Ryan Hughes and his daughter came under fire as they headed home from a park near Santa Rita Road and Mohr Avenue at about p.m. Sunday.
"One of those Orbeez-type things hit me in the back while we were riding our bikes," Hughes said. "I'm just glad my six-year-old wasn't hurt."
Hughes was hit by orbeez gel beads near Santa Rita Road and Mohr Avenue at about 3 p.m. Sunday.
"If they do this to the wrong person, god only knows what could happen to them, you know, and that's what's scary to me," Hughes said.
Hughes isn't alone. Three other innocent victims have been hit by gel beads over the past two weeks, including on Main Street downtown on Saturday night, police say.
"They hear a pop, and then they feel a sting and look, and they see the car drive off," said Pleasanton police Sgt. Marty Billdt.
The beads look like little seeds to begin with.
"So as you can see, they’re this soft little beads, like water gel," Billdt said.
Then you pour water on them, and after several hours they transform into what looks little tapioca balls or boba you find in bubble tea.
Most kids hold them and squish them. Some teenagers, though, are using them as ammo on unsuspecting victims.
"They look harmless, right? They start off as small seed, they grow into little gel ball but if struck in the right location like an eye, it could cause serious injury,"Billdt said.
People we spoke to downtown were concerned
"I feel like it’s totally disrespectful to people you know, drive by shooting,there’s no reason. There’s no reason," said Parmik Mehra of San Ramon.
In a statement, Spin Master, the parent company of Orbeez said in part, "Spin Master does not manufacture or sell gel guns. Orbeez are designed for educational, creative, and sensory play and are not intended to be used as projectiles or inserted in mechanisms."