Police in Texas say a social media challenge teenagers are participating in “is causing both physical and emotional distress for residents of all ages.”
Friendswood Police Department said they have received reports from victims of the “viral TikTok Door Knock challenge which encourages individuals to bang or kick doors in the middle of the night in an effort to startle residents.”
Doorbell camera videos posted to the department’s Facebook page show teens running through neighborhoods in the middle of the night, with one even using a 5-gallon water jug to bang on a home’s front door.
“I would tell them stop it before they get hurt, or they hurt somebody. Please don’t do this. It’s wrong. It’s very wrong,” 77-year-old victim Gwen told FOX 26 Houston. “It was scary. It was frightening. It was terrifying.”
The challenge is not only frightening, but possibly criminal. Some of the kicks and bangs on doors are causing damage, Fort Bend County Constable Precinct 3 Chief Deputy Jimmy Evans told FOX 26.
“This is a very dangerous game, very dangerous game,” Evans added, calling the challenge a new take on ding, dong, ditch. “I’m afraid a homeowner may think someone is trying to burglarize their residence and some innocent kid can get shot or killed.”
Friendswood police say they are in the process of identifying what appear to be teenage males who are doing the kicking and banging on doors. They ask victims to come forward, especially if they have video of the alleged crimes in the act.
As for Gwen, she told FOX 26 it will cost $2,500 to fix pieces of her door that were cracked off of the bottom of the frame.