The New York City Police Department announced a crackdown on bead blaster water guns this week after an 18-year-old man was shot and killed in the Bronx around 1:30 a.m. Thursday, allegedly by an off-duty corrections officer after the young man reportedly squirted him with an Orbeez water gun. There is speculation this was inspired by the TikTok Orbeez challenge.
“Bead Blasters shoot gel water beads propelled by a spring-loaded air pump, making them an air rifle. Air rifles are a violation in NYC & are unlawful to possess. Violators found in possession of these will be issued a criminal summons & the weapon will be confiscated.”
Bead Blasters shoot gel water beads propelled by a spring-loaded air pump, making them an air rifle. Air rifles are a violation in NYC & are unlawful to possess.
Violators found in possession of these will be issued a criminal summons & the weapon will be confiscated. pic.twitter.com/otLkGAHFu4
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) July 21, 2022
“Yesterday, officers encountered individuals carrying these bead blasters. They were confiscated, and summonses were issued.”
Yesterday, officers encountered individuals carrying these bead blasters. They were confiscated, and summonses were issued. pic.twitter.com/95zYJY8YS1
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) July 22, 2022
The New York Daily News reported on the shooting death of 18-year-old Raymond Chaluisant (excerpt):
A young man firing a toy water gun was fatally shot in the Bronx early Thursday — and an off-duty city Department of Correction officer was later arrested for the slaying.
Dion Middleton, 45, was hit with murder, manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon for the death of Raymond Chaluisant, 18.
According to police, Chaluisant was shooting a toy water gun from inside a car and Middleton allegedly shot him with his own weapon, firing more than once, sources said. It was unclear who Chaluisant had been aiming at, cops said.
But Chaluisant’s older sister, Jiraida Esquilin, 29, said her little brother was just taking part in a water gun fight with neighborhood friends on a hot summer night.
…“They were just having fun,” she said. “It’s a new nerf gun that shoots water. The whole neighborhood was having a water gun fight. It was 90 degrees.”
Freedom News TV posted screen images from video of the shooting scene. A bloody handprint on a car and a water gun can be seen.
Corrections Officer Charged with Murder after Shooting 18-year-old with Water Pellet Gun: NYPD
Video by Dakota Santiago /freedomnews.tv pic.twitter.com/0QA0bwRL73
— FreedomNews.Tv FNTV (@FreedomNTV) July 22, 2022
The Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association issued a statement Friday expressing condolences and offering an explanation for the shooting.
“…Our officer fired a single shot in a situation where he felt his life was in immediate danger, particularly after feeling something hit his back. We are also aware that a NYPD Traffic Agent had also reported being hit with pellets in the same vicinity an hour beforehand. Toy guns no longer resemble toys, as the images of this water pistol demonstrate and they remain on ongoing threat to public safety…”
Please see COBA President Benny Boscio’s statement regarding the shooting incident involving Correction Officer Middleton pic.twitter.com/Wsp1Zc2sf2
— COBA (@NYCCOBA1) July 22, 2022
New York State Attorney General Letitia James took a break from persecuting the Trump family to announce the arrest and charges against the alleged shooter.
Dion Middleton Was Off-Duty When He Allegedly Fatally Shot an 18-Year-Old in the Bronx
NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced the arrest and arraignment of Dion Middleton, 45, of the Bronx, on charges of Murder in the Second Degree and Manslaughter in the First and Second Degreesin connection with the shooting death of Raymond Chaluisant, 18. Dion Middleton is a Correction Officer with the New York City Department of Correction (DOC).
Middleton was arraigned today before Judge Jeffrey Zimmerman of Bronx Criminal Court. Judge Zimmerman set bail at $1 million bond or partially secured bond, with $500,000 cash or credit card alternatives.
“My office is committed to a thorough and transparent investigation of every case where an officer of the law may have caused a death,” said Attorney General James. “I offer my sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Chaluisant, and the people of New York have my pledge that we will work to see that justice is served.”
On Thursday, July 21, shortly after 1 a.m. during an encounter in the vicinity of the Cross Bronx Expressway and Morris Avenue in the Bronx, Middleton is alleged to have shot at a car in which Raymond Chaluisant was a passenger, killing Chaluisant. Middleton then left the scene and reported to work later that morning, where he was apprehended by the New York City Police Department (NYPD).
Pursuant to New York Executive Law Section 70-b, the Attorney General’s Office of Special Investigation (OSI) assesses every incident reported to it where a police officer or a peace officer, including a corrections officer, may have caused the death of a person, by an act or omission. Under the law, the officer may be on-duty or off-duty, and the decedent may be armed or unarmed. Also, the decedent may or may not be in custody or incarcerated. If OSI’s assessment indicates an officer caused the death, OSI proceeds to conduct a full investigation of the incident.
The OAG would like to thank NYPD and the Bronx District Attorney’s office for their partnership.
The charges are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.