17-year-old gamer faces felony charge after sending ‘disturbing threats’ to other gamers
POLK COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida teenager faces a felony charge after the sheriff’s office says he made “disturbing threats,” WFLA reports.
The 17-year-old was arrested Wednesday on a felony charge of written threat to kill or injure.
The teenager reportedly sent the threats over Discord, a text and voice chatting app frequently used by gamers.
He’s accused of writing “I’m going to kill so many people,” “HAHAHAHAHAHA I WANT SO MANY PEOPLE TO DIE BY HAND AND THEN PLAY WITH THEIR GUTS WHILE THAY ARE STILL ALIVE!!!” and “I get pretty happy when I imagine myself being a villain going on a mass-murdering spree like in a movie as f***** up as it sounds….”
After receiving tips from the public, the sheriff’s office used online records to find the teenager’s address.
WFLA reports the teen also once threatened to shoot up a school in Illinois. The teen is not currently a student at any school.
“We sincerely appreciate those who brought these disturbing threats to our attention,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, according to WFLA. “People saw or heard something, and they said something. I also thank those responsible companies who timely responded to our exigent legal process so that we could locate and identify [the teen] before he carried out any of his threats.”
The sheriff added that, after studying active shooters, indicators are often ignored before people commit evil acts.
“We can’t ignore these kinds of threats anymore,” Judd said. “We must take those who make threats at their word. These people have to be intercepted and dealt with criminally and/or provided medical and mental health services.”