It is unclear at this point whether a viral TikTok challenge inspired an incident that led to an Oak Harbor woman’s door being kicked in over the weekend.
Capt. Mike Bailey with the Oak Harbor Police Department said the agency received at least five reports of teenagers banging loudly on doors late at night this weekend. He said there were four reports between 10 p.m. March 24 and 1 a.m. March 25, and an additional call at 10:35 p.m. March 25.
In the latter report, Southwest Erie Street resident Robbin Dodd told police she was startled by a loud banging noise from the front of her house at around 10:15 p.m. She, her husband, her daughter and her daughter’s friend were all home at the time, and the sudden, aggressive noise terrified them, she said.
From her bedroom, Dodd heard her husband rack his gun, she said. After a few more loud bangs at the door, the lock was broken and the door busted open. Dodd said in an interview that whoever kicked in the door let out what sounded like a celebratory cheer when it finally caved before running off.
The incident left Dodd and her family rattled.
“I was shaking,” she said. “It was just pure terror. It was so violent.”
Dodd said that police informed her when they arrived that there had been several similar calls in town the previous evening. Dodd said the responding officer told her the incidents may be related to a viral TikTok challenge that news outlets around the world have reported on, encouraging users of the popular social media app to knock loudly on doors with their hands or feet and then run away without being caught.
Bailey could not confirm whether the social media trend had anything to do with the events reported this weekend, though he did say that at least one similar incident took place last year.
Patrol officers are conducting some follow-up on the reports, Bailey said. He encouraged city residents to alert the police department if something similar happens to them, and to let the police know if they have surveillance footage of any knocking incident.
Dodd said her biggest fear is that the people who have been banging on doors late at night will end up hurt.
“These kids need to be aware of the worst possible outcome,” she said. “They need to know the difference between a prank and an outright violent act.”