Nutley PD says they’re seeing uptick in gel blaster ‘gunshots’ at motorists

The Gel Blaster Surge plastic toy gun, as seen here, has been used by youngsters in Nutley to ‘shoot’ projectile pellets at passing motorists. Though hardly lethal, they can cause eye damage and make enough noise when contact is made to startle drivers and potentially cause crashes. Google Images

The Township of Nutley is experiencing a “shooting” problem, but it’s hardly what you might think when you hear the word “shooting.” It’s all because Police Director Alphonse Petracco and Chief Thomas Strumolo say the Nutley Police Department is experiencing a series of incidents with children shooting Gel Blaster Guns at drivers.

Chief Strumolo says the “guns” are plastic, but work similar to paint ball guns.

They’re are battery operated and shoot-gel like projectiles at 90 feet per second and for well over 100 feet.

Although classified as a toy, police have responded to numerous calls in which motor vehicles were struck with projectiles while moving.

The pellets themselves are ecofriendly and nontoxic; however, they can still cause eye injury. More importantly, a motorist may become startled and distracted and get involved in a motor vehicle crash, if one or more of these pellets make contact with a moving vehicle.

Petracco requests parents who purchase or allow their children to play with these “guns” explain the dangers associated with “shooting” at homes, people or passing motorists.

“Although children may not know better, throwing or shooting anything at a person is a chargeable offense,” Petracco said.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.