BBs and gel-like pellets being fired at passing cars and pedestrians are causing concern in New Jersey communities.

The incidents sound similar to the Orbeez Challenge on TikTok in which frozen jelly-like balls are fired from a moving vehicle at pedestrians. But police have not yet made the connection.

Police Chief Thomas Strumolo said kids in Nutley are shooting battery-operated Gel Blaster pellets called "gellets" at passing vehicles. They don't cause damage but can act as a distraction to a driver who become startled and could become involved in a crash.

The plastic "toys" fire gel-like projectiles 90 feet per second over 100 feet.

Police Director Alphonse Petracco said that parents should explain the danger of shooting at a passing car or individual and the fact it is a chargeable offense.

More shots fired in New Brunswick

New Brunswick police are investigating several reports Monday night of people being shot at by paintballs or BB's fired from a gray or silver Toyota or Nissan sedan in the city's 5th and 6th Wards. No one was injured and all declined medical attention.

Two weeks ago four people walking near the intersection of George and Bayard streets were hit by projectiles fired from a BB or Airsoft gun.  No arrests have yet been made.

"We have responded to several incidents, which caused concern. Our chief wanted the public to be aware of potential hazards before someone was injured," Nutley police Lt. Anthony Montanari said.

New Brunswick police Capt. Joseph T. Miller said it was "premature" to connect the April 9 shooting to the Orbeez challenge.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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NJ beach tags guide for summer 2022

We're coming up on another summer at the Jersey Shore! Before you get lost in the excitement of sunny days on the sand, we're running down how much seasonal/weekly/daily beach tags will cost you, and the pre-season deals you can still take advantage of!

These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

Every NJ city and town's municipal tax bill, ranked

A little less than 30 cents of every $1 in property taxes charged in New Jersey support municipal services provided by cities, towns, townships, boroughs and villages. Statewide, the average municipal-only tax bill in 2021 was $2,725, but that varied widely from more than $13,000 in Tavistock to nothing in three townships. In addition to $9.22 billion in municipal purpose taxes, special taxing districts that in some places provide municipal services such as fire protection, garbage collection or economic development levied $323.8 million in 2021.