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Teens arrested for shooting woman in eye with Orbeez gun, police say

They were charged with battery.

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Two Seminole teenagers were arrested early Monday morning after police say they shot a woman in the eye with an Orbeez gun.

The woman's condition was not immediately clear. The teens were booked into the Pinellas County Jail.

Jacob Canaynay and Joshua Sanchez, both 18, were charged with aggravated battery and simple battery, according to the Clearwater Police Department.

The so-called "Orbeez challenge" has caused headaches for law enforcement agencies nationwide. Orbeez are described as "superabsorbent polymers." Once water is added to a single bead, it can grow up to 10 times its original size.

The popular toy became an international TikTok craze. As 10 Tampa Bay reported earlier this year, videos using the #OrbeezChallenge hashtag showed people doing wacky experiments with the colorful jellies, like filling bathtubs and even pools. But, somewhere along the line, some people began using Orbeez for sinister reasons.

Various law enforcement agencies have reported people shooting Orbeeze with gel blasters or similar types of guns. The toy becomes a soft, gel-like product when water is added, but police warn they can hurt if fired.

This week's arrests in Clearwater suggest the trend is still ongoing.

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