Pleasanton schools, police seek to ban foam dart game “Assassin”

The video above shows an example of what kids do during this game. Video might not be safe for work – I believe I heard one cuss word (sh*t) during its play.

From SF Gate: When the Pleasanton Police Department converged all available units toward an armed robbery call last January, the presumed crime was not the heist they were expecting.

The weapons were Nerf guns. The robbers peeking into the windows were teenagers. And the surveillance of the house in question was part of an elaborate game played by high school seniors that police and school officials are hoping to disband this year.

The annual game, known as Assassin, involves seniors from Foothill High School and Amador Valley High School firing foam darts from Nerf guns — often painted to look more like real guns (I didn’t find any videos where kids altered the Nerf guns) — at a list of targets assigned to each player. Each participant pays an entry fee, and after several rounds spread over months, the last player standing collects the winnings, pooled from the entry fees.

Police and school officials are warning parents and students that playing Assassin could be dangerous, especially when the police and public are unaware it is an organized game. In the past, players have staged Nerf gun drive-bys and simulated hits in convenience stores that could be confused with real crimes, said Sgt. Julie Fragomeli of the Pleasanton Police Department.

School officials said disciplinary action, including suspension, may be taken if students are found playing the game on campus.

The robbery call from last year came when neighbors saw people hiding in bushes with what appeared to be guns and peeking into the windows of a house, Fragomeli said.

Fallacious calls can drain a department’s resources. When the potential crime is something as serious as an active armed robbery, she said, all available units — from detectives working at the station to traffic patrols — will be sent to the scene.

“Had there been a car crash or a heart attack or anything else, those people would have been waiting because of a game,” Fragomeli said.

The use of Nerf guns painted to look more realistic is also a concern. Responding officers rely on information from dispatchers, she said, and fake guns can easily be confused for real ones, creating the perception of a very dangerous situation.

In October, a student at Las Positas College in Livermore caused a campus lockdown when someone mistakenly thought the Nerf gun he was carrying, though not associated with the Assassin game, was a real rifle.

Assassin participants have been known to hide in trash cans, trespass onto private property and even jump out of moving vehicles to target or flee from other players while playing the game.

So far this year, no incidents related to the Assassin game have required police involvement, but Fragomeli said January is usually when the months-long game kicks off.


21 responses to “Pleasanton schools, police seek to ban foam dart game “Assassin”

  1. Of COURSE they’d ban it-after all,an official could get hit by a foam dart and suffer BRAIN DAMAGE!! (Beyond the brain damage already present.)

    Liked by 3 people

  2. They have no concern over MS13 gang members being harbored in sanctuary cities, but the police are terrified of school kids with Nerf guns. Figures…

    Liked by 6 people

  3. do these officials really have nothing better to do with taxpayers’ dollars?
    I say these kids would be better served getting a job or volunteering somewhere…of course, they do have to compete with the illegals who’ve taken most of the jobs teens used to work.

    Liked by 3 people

    • There is usually a big money prize for the winner. That’s incentive for some…

      Liked by 2 people

      • DCG . . . . I would imagine that as competitive as young males in particular are, and if a pot of gold is know to be at the end of the rainbow . . . I think it will be rather difficult to stop them from playing this particular game.

        Yes, I do see the point of the police . . . they are probably scared to death that an officer will mistakenly shoot and kill a game player.

        I don’t know what the answer is . . . balancing the fear of police officers against the advantages of young people getting some fierce amounts of physical exercise . . .

        Liked by 2 people

    • MomOfIV . . . . I am sure that with the passage of time, although no one has been hurt so far, there is little doubt that that will change in the future. One thing that I find perplexing, although I can understand that citizens will surely mistake these game playing teens for actual criminals . . . we as a nation complain about the lack of exercise among young people, we complain about young people sitting behind a PC screen hours on end . . . well, here you have, from what I can see, young people exerting a great deal of physical effort, in playing this particular game. That’s a good thing, if only we could take the factor out of the game where they might be mistaken for actual criminals.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Cops & Robbers, Cowboys & Indians, Murderball, Nerf guns, paintball…–heck, even TAG–boys want to play it if it means they get to eliminate each other in sporting contest. It can’t be unprogrammed, and a society that succeeded in ridding itself of all such play would soon be overrun by invaders without firing a shot in its defense.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jurist . . . . Bravo! You have hit on a very important scenario that has been going on in our society for some time now. We don’t want children to “play with fake, pretend guns, we don’t want them playing “Cowboys & Indians” because as we all know the Indians would forever be the underdog, and that is just not politically correct; we don’t want young people playing Cops & Robbers because we don’t want them to be tempted into adopting a lifestyle where they might actually adopt the wearing of a gun for everyday; Murderball, Nerf guns, paintball, etc. we just don’t want this kind of influence on our children . . . yet, our children and youth see “pretend murders” everyday on TV, and in the movies.

      I applaud you for stating the following . . . “a society that succeeded in ridding itself of all such play would soon be overrun by invaders without firing a shot in its defense.” Unfortunately, we have enough “pajama boys” and “basement dwellers at Mom & Dad’s house” as it is. We need young men who would be comfortable in stepping into the roll of “protecting our nation” should the need arise. A nation of namby-pamby effeminate young men will not do our nation any particular good. (No, I’m not rip snortin’ ready to send our best and brightest to be slaughtered needlessly in war. Unfortunately, there are times when a country must be ready to defend itself.)

      Liked by 4 people

      • Lulu, your aim with hammer-on-nail is, as always, excellent.

        Back to my uncontested surrender scenario, above, think about what modern social engineers are attempting to do, with great success:

        Remove all forms of “toxic masculinity” from society, even natural boyish energy.
        Remove all firearms from non-government citizens’ hands.
        Import invaders.

        Could it be that the whole idea is actually to overtake White, Christian America and Europe?

        Of course not, silly! Just ask CNN.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Jurist . . . . I think that the only people who would find your slant on this as being silly . . . are those who wish to see the overthrow of this nation. They desire to subjugate the American people and have us living like surfs until the end of time. It is better that families raise they young men, and young women for that matter, to be protectors of the Constitution of the United States of America . . . in every meaningful way that that might entail. Having reverence for the past generations who protected our country, and realize that this sacred duty is passed along to generation after generation.

          Liked by 2 people

        • “Of course not, silly! Just ask CNN.”
          Or the UN…..

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Kevin J Lankford

    It all plays in to their anti-gun agenda. Most of us older ‘children’ can remember in our youth, toy guns were the most desired and prominent toy of young boys (may be closely followed by our base balls, gloves, and wooden bats). Really wasn’t that unusual to see kids walking down the street with their 22s, headed to the woods, or some other place to shoot.

    They have now managed to stigmatize the mere sight of a gun, even if an obvious toy, that officers can be excused for shooting a child for fear of his life. Heck, even in the old west, or old western movies, that is so often used for example for the need of stricter gun control, no body was so trigger happy that they started shootin just out of fear some body looked like they might be reachin for a gun. But that is just the they trained these days.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Heck where we live in OK you see kids out in the backyards with their Nerfs, air soft and BB guns. Nobody bats an eye. I’ve played around with our BB gun in the backyard, too. If I had done that in Seattle you know someone would have called the cops on me!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. This sounds fairly ridiculous. The police should be angry at the neighbors. If the kids are on neighbor property without permission, then fine. If they are on an elderly person’s property who might not have good vision and can be easily frightened, then ok, also an excuse to make demands.

    But from what it sounds like, it’s another example of police overreaching and trying to remind us that they are more important, and can’t be bothered to react rationally at the sight of kids with nerf guns in their friends’ yards. Same for the neighbors, who were probably those excitable old folks I mentioned.

    But this is CALIFORNIA! Where “food sharing”, i.e, giving food to the homeless on public property, is a crime punished and punishable with arrest. Why in the world, therefore, are we at all surprised by this kind of delirious behavior. This kind of thing doesn’t happen here down in the Ol’ south, now, let me tell ya. Down here, we buy our toddlers nerf guns and expect to see them used.

    Liked by 3 people

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