Mankato Public Safety says that incidents involving SplatRBall water bead guns are resulting in criminal charges for juveniles.
The latest incident happened Saturday evening shortly before 8 p.m. at 2nd and Cherry streets when a car occupied by teenagers fired at a random vehicle.
The juveniles, in this case, were ages 15 to 17 years old. Police say they are facing 5th-degree assault charges for the incident.
Mankato Department of Public Safety Associate Director Dan Schisel said that unlike the cap gun or Nerf gun fights with friends in the yard back in the day, the incidents with the SplatRBall guns are happening to random, uninvolved people.
“These can be dangerous,” said Schisel. “A lot of times we’re being called to situations that they can actually be charged with assault; these things are flying at 200 feet per second,” he said. He described how the pellets are soaked in water, which is absorbed and becomes a gel. “If these were to hit you in the face or eye, they can cause some severe damage.”
Schisel said police have been called to at least three or four weapons incidents involving water bead blasters in the last several weeks.
“Parents just need to be aware that these are and can be improperly used…and they can hurt people,” said Schisel. “People are being charged with assault.”
Water bead blaster news hit the area locally after several New Ulm High School students were charged after shooting a bus carrying the St. Peter boys basketball team with a water bead blaster. The youth involved in that incident are facing criminal charges.