NEW HOPE, Minn. (WCCO) — It’s a popular game played by high school students using Nerf guns.

But when this form of tag takes to the streets, the fun can easily turn fatal. Police in New Hope say that easily could have been the case Monday night when some Armstrong High School students were engaged in such a game.

One of two cars involved in the Nerf War game blew through a stop sign along a busy Winnetka Avenue, forcing an innocent driver and his passenger into a power pole. Police and school officials issued a strong warning after the incident at a Tuesday news conference.

They tell us about 100 students were signed onto the latest Nerf War that just got started Monday. Teams were in the running for a $500 prize.

But Monday night, some nearly paid for it with their lives.

Utility crews spent the better part of Tuesday repairing the damage caused by a senseless and dangerous game. That’s when two cars of Armstrong teens were attempting Nerf tag while speeding through residential streets.

“This man came out of nowhere going 40 miles an hour like someone was chasing him,” Clare Baker said.

The 17-year old driver was being chased in a game of Nerf Wars, blowing a stop sign and plowing into an innocent driver. Clare Baker narrowly escaped the crash.

“Instead of me, they hit the other fellow, shoving him all the way across the street and up into his yard,” Baker, who witnessed the crash, said.

On Tuesday, police called it stupid and unnecessary: Teenage drivers shooting Nerf darts while driving on residential streets.

“Not the greatest driver by nature and then driving high speed through a neighborhood they’re unfamiliar with, it’s just a recipe for disaster,” New Hope Police Chief Tim Fournier said.

Armstrong Principal David Dahl has a warning for students, and parents: Playing tag in moving vehicles is no game, but rather a certain invitation to danger, injury and even death.

“Students need to think carefully about their behavior because it can have tragic consequences. Fortunately this incident avoided that, there were no deaths involved unlike what happened in Lakeville last year,” Dahl said.

Principal Dahl is of course referring to the tragedy in Lakeville last year that claimed two teens. They were killed in a driving accident while playing the same game.

Police are still looking for the driver of the chase vehicle, and say negligence charges are likely.

Bill Hudson