Police: ‘Nerf Wars’ lead to reports to indecent exposure, kidnappings, assaults in Oxford


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Police were called to Melissa Drive at 8:47 p.m. Jan. 3 to deal with a dispute involving a large number of young adults and juveniles, according to a police report.

They arrived to find several vehicles improperly parked, causing congestion in the roadway, and a group of individuals standing in the road yelling at another group in a driveway.

After the groups were separated, it was learned the dispute involved “Nerf Wars.”

Police had received numerous calls over the previous three days related to the Oxford tradition, resulting in multiple officer response calls for service with reports from Oxford residents.

The report noted, “Residents that are uninformed of the tradition are quick to believe that actual emergency situations are occurring and police resources are rapidly involved. Citizens have been led to believe that violent actions such as kidnappings and assaults are happening in the area where the young adults and juveniles are actually engaging in less serious behavior.”

Previous reports over the three-day period had involved a supposed indecent exposure Jan. 1, people running around the park naked shooting Nerf guns at each other Jan. 2, a large fight on South Locust Street Jan. 2 and a dispute in progress at the TRI Community Center Jan. 3 with cars blocking travel lanes.

The incident on Melissa Drive later Jan. 3 stemmed from two groups of young people in a dispute over “Nerf Wars.” One was from the Oxford/Talawanda area and other from Liberty/Union County, Indiana area. All those identified from that dispute were juveniles.

The five incidents resulting from distressed callers involved approximately four hours of police time, according to the report, which the officer requested be sent to School Resource Officer Rick Butler and to the administration of Union County High School.

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