Juvenile arrested in emerging gel gun trend

| 26/01/2023
Gel blasters Cayman News Service
An example of a gel blaster

(CNS): The RCIPS is raising concerns that groups of young people are abusing toy gel guns, also known as gel blasters, capable of discharging water-filled beads and other liquid or soft pellets. A teenage boy was arrested Tuesday after an individual was hit by a projectile from a moving car. The trend appears to have emerged on social media, especially on TikTok, where users are encouraged to shoot people or stationary objects with gel guns in a drive-by style and post the videos.

Police received a report that just before 8:40pm on Monday, 23 January, someone had been hit with a pellet gun from a car driving around a community in Bodden Town. The vehicle that had been described to police was seen and stopped by officers the next day, and the teenager was arrested on suspicion of assault. The driver was also arrested in relation to the incident and several other traffic violations that were committed, including a reckless and negligent act.

The RCIPS said they had received several similar complaints about groups of young people using the pellet guns. Although they are not designed to cause serious injury or harm, police said their improper use could have adverse or harmful effects.

“The offences being committed have very serious implications, both for the victims and the persons who are committing these acts of violence against members of the community,” said Deputy Police Commissioner Kurt Walton.

“We hope that both the young people who are carrying out these acts and their parents understand the gravity of their actions and take heed to these warnings. Regardless of whether they have been manufactured and sold with the purpose of being used as toys, anyone who uses these items to assault or intimidate others, thus using them as offensive weapons, will be prosecuted.”

According to the Penal Code section 78 (1), an offensive weapon is any object, whether made or adapted for that purpose, used as a weapon with the intent of causing harm to others. Section 80 says that the penalty for carrying an offensive weapon on conviction is a fine of up to $5,000 and imprisonment for four years. 

The matter is being investigated by the police, who are imploring parents with children, especially teenage children in possession of these pellet guns, to speak with their children about the appropriate use of these items. 

Anyone with information about this and any other incident relating to the use of pellet guns to commit crimes is encouraged to call the Bodden Town Police Station at 947-2220 or the police station in the districts where the incidents were committed. Anonymous tips can be provided to the RCIPS Confidential Tip Line at 949-7777 or the website.

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