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Police issue warning as metro Detroit students ramp up 'water wars'

Posted at 6:33 PM, May 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-13 19:10:51-04

SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — The fun of “water wars” is often described as a game played across Metro Detroit, by students marketing the start of summer. It involves water guns and balloons being used by teams competing. At the same time, police are raising serious concerns.

Water wars are a tradition many students enjoy at the end of the school year but before loading up, police say be careful how you play the game.

“I feel it just brings our class together. A lot of them have their own group,” says Farmington High senior Lillian Richard.

She calls the game a way to enjoy fun and let off some steam.

However, all the teams have to adhere to specific rules, which include: no spraying anyone from a vehicle or inside their home.

Lillian adds, “You can get anyone outside houses, can’t get anyone at work, parking lot, but as soon as they leave a work parking lot you can get them.”

“Bright colors on the gun. Stuff like that. Kind of make sure people in the neighborhood can clearly see,” says Laura Denio, a parent stressing safety.

Police have also taken to social media to stress an important message of not letting the game get out of hand.

“What’s not acceptable? Putting other people in jeopardy. Making it so that people are scared that may not know they’re playing water wars,” says Shelby Twp. Police Sgt. Kevin Bailey.

Police tell us hiding behind bushes and buildings and spraying someone who is not aware of the game, can lead to trouble, and one student even stopped traffic with a water pistol that resembled a real gun.

“They should be using something that looks like a water gun with a color and orange tip.” says Bailey.

Shelby Twp. Police tell us the student they detained was eventually released back to his parents with no charges filed at this point.