Teenagers accused of ambushing a school bus on the highway — shooting at it with a fully automatic 'Splatrball' water bead blaster — could face jail time and a fine.
Three 18-year-olds and a juvenile were cited for disorderly conduct in connection with the March 8 incident, the Nicollet County Sheriff's Office announced Thursday. Authorities said the quartet, spread across two cars, drove up to the St. Peter Public Schools bus around 10:24 p.m. as it traveled on Highway 15.
Near the intersection of 412th Street, one of the vehicles got in front of the bus — which was carrying the boys basketball team home after a game — and forced it to slow down, while the second vehicle pulled up alongside the bus and "shot or threw items" at it. This happened twice, the sheriff's office said, with the bus' occupants saying it was very loud.
Authorities later learned the perpetrators had used a Splatrball SRB-400 — a fully automatic water bead blaster. It's akin to an Airsoft rifle, but shoots tiny water balloons at a rate of eight rounds per second, and a velocity of 200 feet per second. (The Splatrball pictured above is the 1200 model.) The bus didn't appear to be damaged from the water beads.
London Watson of Hanska, Dylan Sickles or New Ulm, and Dawson Sowers of Clements were all cited for misdemeanor disorderly conduct, the sheriff's office said. It carries a penalty of up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. A fourth person under the age of 18 was also cited.