Grand Blanc police warn about ‘water wars’, TikTok challenge

Police are urging high school students in one mid-Michigan city to be safe as they take part in a popular game.
Published: Apr. 26, 2023 at 5:25 PM EDT
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GRAND BLANC, Mich. (WNEM) – Police are urging high school students in one mid-Michigan city to be safe as they take part in a popular game.

A game called “water wars” and a TikTok challenge that encourages people to shoot strangers with water beads from air guns are making the rounds in the Grand Blanc area.

Police are concerned one wrong move could end in tragedy.

“I think some of the ‘water wars’ games are getting intermixed with this TikTok trend. And again, at the end of the day, we want everybody to be safe,” said Det. Sgt. Bryan Byarski with the Grand Blanc Police Department.

Water guns have become commonplace in Grand Blanc. Byarski said last week, five students were hit by water pellets at Holy Family Elementary School, leaving them with welts and bruises.

Byarski said two Grand Blanc High School students admitted to being involved in the incident.

“We had some kids injured and unfortunately, the teenagers that were driving that car are now facing possible charges,” he said.

Then on Tuesday, students playing “water wars”, a game between teams with water guns, caught the attention of a resident at Knollwood Apartments in Grand Blanc Township.

“I know yesterday afternoon, Grand Blanc Township received a call of two car loads of individuals carrying AR-15s. And we had multiple units responding to this location for what we thought were two carloads of armed people,” Byarski said.

He said thankfully, that interaction between police and the so-called armed teens ended without incident.

Earlier this month, “water wars” resurfaced at the McDonalds across the street from Grand Blanc High School.

“But that initial shock of guys jumping out with these, again in the heat of the moment, it looks like a gun. And they got their faces covered with ski masks and there were some customers there that had no idea what was going on,” Byrarski said.

And with so many people carrying real guns, Byarski said he worries about what could happen.

“You’d hate to see somebody think they’re trying to help out and engage these kids and somebody gets hurt when it was just a prank,” he said.

That’s why the Grand Blanc Police Department made a Facebook post imploring students to realize the potential dangers of using realistic looking water guns while out and about in the community.

“I think the best, best thing is to not do this out in public where there’s a lot of people who don’t know what’s going on,” Byarski said.

It appears that the TikTok challenge has been around since 2022. As for “water wars”, it’s expected to continue until there’s a winner.

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