16-year-old arrested after 2 ‘Orbeez Challenge’ attacks, Ocala police say

Teen acted as getaway driver, detectives say

Central Florida police warn about dangerous ‘Orbeez Challenge’ social media trend

OCALA, Fla. – A 16-year-old faces two misdemeanor charges after police said he acted as the getaway driver for two “Orbeez Challenge” attacks in Ocala.

According to police, the first attack happened outside a YMCA, 3200 SE 17th St., where a group walked up to a victim and shot them in the face and arm before running off, jumping into a car and driving away.

A short time later, the same car, driven by the 16-year-old, pulled into a Taco Bell drive-thru where another victim was shot in the chest, officers said.

[TRENDING: Did teen’s big size factor in Orlando thrill ride death? | This is the No. 1 excuse speeding drivers use to get out of tickets | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]

The victim here panicked, initially thinking they were shot with a real gun, according to a news release. Surveillance video helped detectives identify the vehicle and the driver, officers said.

Investigators said the teen is not cooperating with investigators and has not revealed any of the other people he was driving with.

The teen faces two charges of simple battery.

These attacks are the latest in a string of Orbeez Challenge shootings happening around Central Florida.

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.