NEW BRUNSWICK — Two weeks after a woman reported she was struck by pellets fired from a weapon in a passing vehicle, the Rutgers University Police Department announced the arrest of a man unaffiliated with the school, charging him with simple assault.

But police did not immediately respond to a request Thursday from New Jersey 101.5 as to whether this latest incident may be related to the Orbeez Challenge on TikTok, which police in New Brunswick and Nutley were investigating, but made no clear connection, after several similar encounters in April.

On May 10, RUPD said Wednesday on Facebook, a woman reported she was struck by pellets shortly before 5 p.m. at the intersection of College Avenue and Senior Street in New Brunswick.

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Subsequent investigation determined that the pellets were of the "soft water bead" variety, fired from a toy air gun, police said.

On Tuesday, police said Tapashvi Patel, 21, of Colonia was identified and charged.

As with other recent crimes in the community, RUPD said university students, faculty, and staff can request security escorts by calling 732-932-7211.

Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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