Jagex Busts Teen for School Shooting Comment

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Desert Punk:

Abandon4093:

If we're going to start sentencing people with crimes they might commit, then we're gonna be here a long time.

Who has been sentenced so far exactly? He made a credible threat, and had the means and opportunity to carry out that threat, so he has been arrested while the investigation is underway.

With a bail of 50 grand.

That's ludicrous when dealing with a case where no actual crime has been committed.

And get off the means opportunity shite, that virtually applies to anyone who could make that threat in the US. If he owned weapons in a country where they are controlled, you might have a point. But his father owning a gun in the US is hardly damning evidence.

I wonder how the courts are going to prove the comments were NOT in jest. Or is guilt determined by how serious someone else views a person's comments rather than how serious the person who actually commented was being?

I hope he gets off Scott-free. I do not enjoy the idea of being punished for something someone didn't do but said they will when they have no means at all of doing so.

Abandon4093:
I've often threatened to rob a bank in jest before. Am I now to be considered as a threat to all banks?

You're completely missing one VERY important thing here - mass-paranoia and panic based on past events. Although no official law exists about such a thing, it is very much real and plays a very real role in courts.

Everyone knows US is infamous for school shootings, every single one leaves a HUGE scar on the entire nation and goes down into history as a dark, evil day. Every single school shooting also causes a good several months of mass-fear (most recently Sandy Hook) where even the slightest - I repeat, the slightest threat of such an incident happening again is treated extremely seriously with brutal consequences, highly exaggerated consequences too.
With US there have been enough school shootings to the point of the mass-panic becoming almost permanent, I think we'll need to see a good 5 years of no school shootings for people to settle down again.

This kid basically chose a bad time and the wrong country to say such a thing - yes, there is such a thing as "wrong time wrong place" even with the law, I feel both sad for him (his life is fucked, his career is fucked). He has been made an example of, a warning to the rest of the nation not to joke around in times of mass paranoia/panic...and this isn't the first time someone's been arrested over a mild chat comment in Runescape, I remember Jagex tipping-off police about previous incidents like suicide threats and IRL murder threats. A lot of young children and teens play that game, I played it for a good 3-4 years as well.

If he had said it while playing from some other country he would've been more than safe, hell players say FAR WORSE shit all the time and get away with nothing but a warning/ban from the game at worst.

Adam Jensen:

On the other hand, $50,000 bail seems just ridiculous.

It's just bail. He'll get it back as long as he doesn't skip town. Bail is supposed to be uber-expensive for that reason. $50,000 isn't actually all that high. It's not unusual to see higher amounts.

If you want to see some comparisons, here's a pdf of one county's bail regulations. See page 4 for price guidelines.
http://www.occourts.org/directory/criminal/felonybailsched.pdf

Abandon4093:

Desert Punk:

Abandon4093:

If we're going to start sentencing people with crimes they might commit, then we're gonna be here a long time.

Who has been sentenced so far exactly? He made a credible threat, and had the means and opportunity to carry out that threat, so he has been arrested while the investigation is underway.

With a bail of 50 grand.

That's ludicrous when dealing with a case where no actual crime has been committed.

And get off the means opportunity shite, that virtually applies to anyone who could make that threat in the US. If he owned weapons in a country where they are controlled, you might have a point. But his father owning a gun in the US is hardly damning evidence.

Which gets returned if he shows up to his court date.

And considering other conspiracy to commit murder cases have had bail go up to 500,000 dollars, that isnt too ludicrous.

Oh, so geography effects means and opportunity? Just because you dont like that they both fit doesnt mean they are thrown out just like that. and it might apply to virtually everyone but virtually everyone is smart enough not to threaten to shoot up a school to complete strangers.

Boring troll meets over reactive justice system. Yeah this is news worthy.

If I was held accountable for everything I said on the internet, I would be on death row by now if not already executed.

Although for awhile I did get calls asking me stuff like "Do you own a firearm, Mr Holmes? We need to stop Obama before he takes away our guns," and then when I gave unsatisfactory answers like 'I don't own a gun but I would love to sign a petition against gun control legislation for you' they would immediately hang up. Which I assume is the NSA/FBI's way of telling me both that they are interested to see if I am actually a domestic terrorist, and that no one in their organizations has any idea what subtlety means.

Abandon4093:

Desert Punk:

Abandon4093:

If we're going to start sentencing people with crimes they might commit, then we're gonna be here a long time.

Who has been sentenced so far exactly? He made a credible threat, and had the means and opportunity to carry out that threat, so he has been arrested while the investigation is underway.

With a bail of 50 grand.

That's ludicrous when dealing with a case where no actual crime has been committed.

And get off the means opportunity shite, that virtually applies to anyone who could make that threat in the US. If he owned weapons in a country where they are controlled, you might have a point. But his father owning a gun in the US is hardly damning evidence.

I'm sorry, but can you point to where it says that the First amendment protects your right to threaten someone? Serious question, because I am pretty sure it doesn't protect your right to threaten someone's life.

Tiamattt:
Hm, think I'll just edit mine a little.

I'm sorry to all the people that's cheering this, but I really don't like the idea of people being arrested solely on what they say, especially in a online setting where people are used to that anonymous feeling which tends to make people say what they would normally never say/act IRL. And definitely when it's a dumb teen who are known for saying stupid meaningless crap just to try to make themselves look good/superior.

There had to be a better way to deal with this, and I would be extremely surprised if the charges stick, much less gets in front of a jury.

It's more than what he said though; he threatened to blow up a school, he made comments that suggests he is pro-genocide / pro-holocaust, he created nazi symbols in game and, here's the kicker, he lives in a house full of firearms!

Guys who make jokes about wanting to shoot up their school need help. People who make jokes about shooting up their school with a shotgun under the best need to be thrown out of an airplane, sans parachute.

Edit: Misread the OP slightly, but the point remains...

piinyouri:
Whoawhoawhoawhoawhoa.
Wait, he was arrested for not actually doing anything?
I've now read this article slowly about 4 times and if someone could correct me that would be wonderful but it doesnt seem to me he actually did anything, yet was arrested.

I mean, not the most savory character, yeah okay.
But saying you are going to do something, and actually doing it are still two different things nowadays aren't they?

Someone already responded to the main point here, so I'll go all supplemental on 'ere. Thought crime is something that you can be arrested for. Conspiracy to commit a crime is one, and the other are the...fuck, I've forgotten the name of the law. In any case, if you try to leave the country for the purpose of having sex with a minor in another country (Even if it would be legal there. For example, age of consent in Spain is 13.), they can arrest you at the airport and charge you without you ever having actually left the country (not that you'd necessarily have been committing a crime either, since as mentioned, age of consent is lower in some places)

Adam Jensen:
A couple of things I'd like to say about this.

It was good that the people on the server reported him. You never know when you might be dealing with a lunatic on the internet. Of course the chances of someone being an actual lunatic are slim, but it's not something that you should just ignore.
On the other hand, $50,000 bail seems just ridiculous. If you can't prove that he wasn't joking then you have to let him go. "Innocent until proven guilty" is there to protect everyone from the tyrannical judiciary system. If you keep locking people up because they were joking, pretty soon you'll have a nation of people too scared to joke. It's insane.

...No? They can/have proved that he did say it through the transcripts of the ingame logs. It's up to the defendant to prove that it was a joke; or otherwise cast doubt on the prosecutions claim. 'Innocent until proven guilty' doesn't mean 'Take the defendant's word as truth at all times until the prosecution proves otherwise'.

That's odd, i always thought we'd first see thought crime prosecution in the UK.
Huh.

So if i say 'im going to blow up the white house', that line right there means a navy seal team can bust through my door and shoot me in the head? It's a credible threat, because my dad has petrol cans in the garage.

What the fuck, America? Apparently we have more rights here in Australia, a nanny state that even makes it a crime for young people to drive powerful cars.
I would not get my bail set at $50k if i drove my goddamn car into a school bus.

As much as he sounds like an enormous bellend, I'd bet he's just talking out of his arse. I just can't understand how someone can be that fucking dumb, that they'd either A) Tell people they were seriously going to shoot up a school or B) Joke about that shit (where people might actually believe you. Tasteless jokes are still fantastic.) since Sandy Hook.

It reminds me a bit about that guy in England for making a joke on Facebook or Twitter about blowing up an airport, and I think he was fined, might have had a short jail sentence. The difference is that he was clearly joking, whereas this tit wasn't.

Welp, don't joke about murder. I wonder how this case will turn out.

Whether he actually intended to do or is just incredibly stupid to be posting such stuff, he deserves to go to jail. If it's the latter, I'd argue that's a dangerous level of stupidity.

Desert Punk:

Abandon4093:

Desert Punk:

Who has been sentenced so far exactly? He made a credible threat, and had the means and opportunity to carry out that threat, so he has been arrested while the investigation is underway.

With a bail of 50 grand.

That's ludicrous when dealing with a case where no actual crime has been committed.

And get off the means opportunity shite, that virtually applies to anyone who could make that threat in the US. If he owned weapons in a country where they are controlled, you might have a point. But his father owning a gun in the US is hardly damning evidence.

Which gets returned if he shows up to his court date.

That's so far away from the point I don't even know where to begin.

Lets just say setting a bail that high sets a precedent for the trial.

And considering other conspiracy to commit murder cases have had bail go up to 500,000 dollars, that isnt too ludicrous.

Because there was probably evidence to suggest they were actually conspiring to commit murder. Not just saying daft shit on a childish MMO.

Oh, so geography effects means and opportunity?

............... Yes... Amongst other things.

Just because you dont like that they both fit doesnt mean they are thrown out just like that.

If I said I was going to stab someone and the police raided my house and found a kitchen knife, well fuck. Must mean I was gonna do it.

"his dad has a gun and he goes to school" is not compelling evidence.

and it might apply to virtually everyone but virtually everyone is smart enough not to threaten to shoot up a school to complete strangers.

So the guy is a fucking moron, it still doesn't mean he was actually considering doing anything.

Devoneaux:

Abandon4093:

Desert Punk:

Who has been sentenced so far exactly? He made a credible threat, and had the means and opportunity to carry out that threat, so he has been arrested while the investigation is underway.

With a bail of 50 grand.

That's ludicrous when dealing with a case where no actual crime has been committed.

And get off the means opportunity shite, that virtually applies to anyone who could make that threat in the US. If he owned weapons in a country where they are controlled, you might have a point. But his father owning a gun in the US is hardly damning evidence.

I'm sorry, but can you point to where it says that the First amendment protects your right to threaten someone? Serious question, because I am pretty sure it doesn't protect your right to threaten someone's life.

I didn't say anything about the first amendment.

I'm just pointing out that some stupid kid saying stupid shit online isn't really a threat.

Investigate the claims, sure. That's only smart. But claiming he had means and opportunity because his dad owns a gun and he goes to school.

Well that's just fucking silly.

Aaron Sylvester:

Abandon4093:
I've often threatened to rob a bank in jest before. Am I now to be considered as a threat to all banks?

You're completely missing one VERY important thing here - mass-paranoia and panic based on past events. Although no official law exists about such a thing, it is very much real and plays a very real role in courts.

Everyone knows US is infamous for school shootings, every single one leaves a HUGE scar on the entire nation and goes down into history as a dark, evil day. Every single school shooting also causes a good several months of mass-fear (most recently Sandy Hook) where even the slightest - I repeat, the slightest threat of such an incident happening again is treated extremely seriously with brutal consequences, highly exaggerated consequences too.
With US there have been enough school shootings to the point of the mass-panic becoming almost permanent, I think we'll need to see a good 5 years of no school shootings for people to settle down again.

This kid basically chose a bad time and the wrong country to say such a thing - yes, there is such a thing as "wrong time wrong place" even with the law, I feel both sad for him (his life is fucked, his career is fucked). He has been made an example of, a warning to the rest of the nation not to joke around in times of mass paranoia/panic...and this isn't the first time someone's been arrested over a mild chat comment in Runescape, I remember Jagex tipping-off police about previous incidents like suicide threats and IRL murder threats. A lot of young children and teens play that game, I played it for a good 3-4 years as well.

If he had said it while playing from some other country he would've been more than safe, hell players say FAR WORSE shit all the time and get away with nothing but a warning/ban from the game at worst.

I know exactly why people are reacting the way they are. And I actually mentioned that this is why I think the idiot is going to get convicted.

But that doesn't make it right.

piinyouri:
Whoawhoawhoawhoawhoa.
Wait, he was arrested for not actually doing anything?
I've now read this article slowly about 4 times and if someone could correct me that would be wonderful but it doesnt seem to me he actually did anything, yet was arrested.

I mean, not the most savory character, yeah okay.
But saying you are going to do something, and actually doing it are still two different things nowadays aren't they?

According to the article, he "was arrested and charged with 'threatening to commit a crime and threatening a bombing or hijacking.'"

I guess the threat is a crime wherever he lives.

Abandon4093:

So the guy is a fucking moron, it still doesn't mean he was actually considering doing anything.

Well obviously he did consider doing it. And then he told people about it, while drawing a swastika. He wouldnt be in this mess if he hadnt considered it then spoken about it to others.

Adam Jensen:

Desert Punk:
They pretty much have him over a barrel

They had the intent, and by collecting the weapons from his home they found his means. All they had left was opportunity, which he said he was going to shoot the school up TOMORROW.

I suppose some retard in the justice system could drool on himself when they have a person with means and opportunity making threats and go "derrr well we ought to wait till he does somem I suppose..." and then let a few people die before arresting him...

I think this guy is an asshole, but the only thing keeping him under surveillance is the fear that he might do it. Not the actual evidence. They have no motive.

Not one that's mentioned in the article. Having a 3.25 GPA doesn't mean he doesn't have a motive. Is he a straight up psychopath? Is he chronically depressed? Is he racist or just retarded enough to think pretending to be racist is cool? Has he been reading Catcher in the Rye? Was his father an asshole? Does he want to make a name for himself? Does he think the school marching band is stealing his thoughts? I'd want ALL these questions answered BEFORE he gets out on bail.

I'm sorry, but isn't this thought crime?

GoddyofAus:
I'm sorry, but isn't this thought crime?

No, a thought crime is

an instance of unorthodox or controversial thinking, considered as a criminal offense or as socially unacceptable

If he had said "sometimes I think about shooting up my school" it would have been thought crime, because that is socially unacceptable, but he has no plans to commit the action, its just idle wonderings. Most people have twisted little fantasies now and then

What HE said was "I am going to shoot up my school tomorrow." Which makes it a very tangible threat, showing he has a time table, most likely a plan, means, motive and the whole works.

piinyouri:
Whoawhoawhoawhoawhoa.
Wait, he was arrested for not actually doing anything?
I've now read this article slowly about 4 times and if someone could correct me that would be wonderful but it doesnt seem to me he actually did anything, yet was arrested.

I mean, not the most savory character, yeah okay.
But saying you are going to do something, and actually doing it are still two different things nowadays aren't they?

"Conspiracy to commit a crime" has been an arresting offense for quite a while.

More importantly, 50 grand bail? And it was paid?

Shit, his parents must be rolling in it.

piinyouri:
Whoawhoawhoawhoawhoa.
Wait, he was arrested for not actually doing anything?
I've now read this article slowly about 4 times and if someone could correct me that would be wonderful but it doesnt seem to me he actually did anything, yet was arrested.

I mean, not the most savory character, yeah okay.
But saying you are going to do something, and actually doing it are still two different things nowadays aren't they?

In some cases, the threat to commit a crime is, in fact, a crime.
Shooting up a school is one of those cases.

I'm not to sure how to feel about this, because who hasn't said "I would love to burn this school down" or "I'll fucking kill you"??
saying you're going to do something or even claiming you've done something is not/should not be a crime... Up to a point that is, if he had actual plans and/or had done other preparations to commit the crime then fine, lock him up, but if it was just him blowing off steam or even wishing/thinking about doing it then they should maybe give him a psychological test and send him on his way.

And to those advocating locking him up for thinking something, I didn't know thinking something was a crime.

Shocksplicer:
Good. Can't understand all the people saying "I believe in free speech, and he shouldn't be punished for saying those things!".
You do realise that the alternate scenario that you are suggesting is "Authorities have extremely good reason to think that this guy is going to shoot up his school, but decide not to stop him because free speech."
That's fucking lunacy.

I agree completely with this, I would rather have one guy arrested for threatening to go on a massacre, than ignore his threats because of his "free speech" and have him massacre 10 people.

Free Speech only goes so far, and threatening to go on a school shooting crosses the boundaries. We need less people like this guy opn the internet.

Abandon4093:

Desert Punk:

Abandon4093:

If we're going to start sentencing people with crimes they might commit, then we're gonna be here a long time.

Who has been sentenced so far exactly? He made a credible threat, and had the means and opportunity to carry out that threat, so he has been arrested while the investigation is underway.

With a bail of 50 grand.

That's ludicrous when dealing with a case where no actual crime has been committed.

And get off the means opportunity shite, that virtually applies to anyone who could make that threat in the US. If he owned weapons in a country where they are controlled, you might have a point. But his father owning a gun in the US is hardly damning evidence.

Also, I just looked at the article again. This happened in ENGLAND. Where you know...guns are 'controlled' ect?

So uh...what was that about me not having a point?

The Tibballs:
I'm not to sure how to feel about this, because who hasn't said "I would love to burn this school down" or "I'll fucking kill you"??
saying you're going to do something or even claiming you've done something is not/should not be a crime... Up to a point that is, if he had actual plans and/or had done other preparations to commit the crime then fine, lock him up, but if it was just him blowing off steam or even wishing/thinking about doing it then they should maybe give him a psychological test and send him on his way.

And to those advocating locking him up for thinking something, I didn't know thinking something was a crime.

A) He said "I'm shooting up my school tomorrow" that is a bit beyond idle fantasising. That is telling people you are planning on doing something.

B) He didnt think it. He was telling people what he was going to do. Telling people your plans to commit a crime is...surprise... a crime!

His face looks nice. I wonder if it feels good for my fists the minute they touch it.

It's good heads-up thinking to report someone who threatens violence. No one can look the other way now, when people say shit like that. I don't care what your sense of humor is, with so many publicized instances of kids saying, "I'm going to shoot up my school." there are no exceptions, his access to firearms should be removed and be placed under a watch list for any weapons he may look to purchase in the future.

Desert Punk:

Abandon4093:

Desert Punk:

Who has been sentenced so far exactly? He made a credible threat, and had the means and opportunity to carry out that threat, so he has been arrested while the investigation is underway.

With a bail of 50 grand.

That's ludicrous when dealing with a case where no actual crime has been committed.

And get off the means opportunity shite, that virtually applies to anyone who could make that threat in the US. If he owned weapons in a country where they are controlled, you might have a point. But his father owning a gun in the US is hardly damning evidence.

Also, I just looked at the article again. This happened in ENGLAND. Where you know...guns are 'controlled' ect?

So uh...what was that about me not having a point?

Jagex is a British company, yeah, but the alleged/potential shooter and presumably the school in question exist in Massachusetts, which is in the US.
RE: the people shouting about "Free Speech" - you do realize that The Internet is extraterritorial, right? As in "International Waters"? The First Amendment doesn't apply here, and it especially doesn't apply to the non-US company which brought this incident to the proper authorities that runs the game.

Abandon4093:

I've often threatened to rob a bank in jest before. Am I now to be considered as a threat to all banks?

I don't know, have you claimed to have stolen things before and have the weapons and wherewithal to rob a bank in your possession? Also did you say this in jest to trusted friends or did you post it to random strangers on the internet?

We all say silly mental things in jest on the forums that we don't really mean for the lulz from time to time, but a little context here I think is important.

I'll reserve judgement till the trial. I do think that the $50,000 bail is a bit excessive. Confiscating his weapons and house arrest would have been enough in this case I feel.

knight steel:
I don't know how to feel,on one hand this could have prevented a tragedy and the guys sounds horrible..........but on the other hand being arrested for an online comment and brought to trial,sounds really-really-really invasive I mean does that mean that someone who say's "I'm so angry I could kill someone" in the spur of the moment between friends can be arrested?

Difference is your example is a cliche at this point and would hardly be taken seriously.

Saying "I'm going to shoot up my school tomorrow" is an entirely different matter. It is supposed to invoke fear into people, and saying that he is going to do it tomorrow hints that he is actually planning it.

Also the fact that his household even has guns justifies the lawful action taken in my opinion. If he had no immediate access to firearms he probably would have gotten off a little lighter. Maybe a mark on his record and a fine or something.

If it was (let's not forget the Nazi symbols and anti Jew comments) they were off handed comments to make himself 'look cool' or whatever, then in my opinion he needs to be taught a lesson for it anyway. I'm pretty sure freedom of speech doesn't protect someone against racist abuse.

This is ridiculous. It's one thing to react to something that may or may not be a legitimate threat but to go so far as 50k bail and using stuff as petty as, "Frongillo also made anti-Semitic comments" - "previously talked about shooting a squirrel with a .12 shotgun." to build a case against him is pathetic.

They got nothing, this case is practically frivolous, and I hope this guy turns it around and gets all of his money back and then some with a defamation of character suit.

tetron:
This is ridiculous. It's one thing to react to something that may or may not be a legitimate threat but to go so far as 50k bail and using stuff as petty as, "Frongillo also made anti-Semitic comments" - "previously talked about shooting a squirrel with a .12 shotgun." to build a case against him is pathetic.

They got nothing, this case is practically frivolous, and I hope this guy turns it around and gets all of his money back and then some with a defamation of character suit.

The thing about defamation of character is it only applies if you say something that is untrue or a lie. If you just say hey this guy said this and he did in fact say that it isn't defamation of character it is literally his character.

Also the thing about bail money is you get it back if you don't bail or run away. If he shows up in court (and why wouldn't he?) I doubt he will get much more than a slight slap on the wrist for being an idiot.

Sidenote: Does this mean when people threaten to rape my mother in games I can now report the threat to police? Or are school shootings the only thing that is strong enough to press buttons these days?

Guys, going to trial does not equal a conviction. The police in this case have ample evidence to make an accusation, and an arrest. Note that at this stage, he is still being presumed innocent. In trial, the prosecution will have the burden of proving his intent to commit his crime beyond a reasonable doubt, which means that if there is but a possibility that he did not commit the crime of which he is accused, the jury must find him "not guilty". You can rattle on about there not being enough evidence. If that is the case, he will not be convicted, and, hopefully, will learn a lesson about what is and isn't ok to say anywhere, including the internet. Also note that bail is supposed to be high enough that it would be a significant loss if the bail were not repaid. That's the point of bail; you're letting the accused live at home until the trial, and so you require collateral so that they don't skip town in the interim. $50k bail is not excessive, and as long as he attends his trial, whether he be found guilty or not guilty, the money will be returned to him. So, the only thing he's lost is however much he needs to spend on a lawyer, which, as the defendant, he does not actually need to do. You see, he has the right to an attorney; if he doesn't want to hire one, the state MUST provide him with a public defender. So he's out of school from now until the trial day. Assuming he's not convicted, I'd say that the equivalent of a suspension from school is proper punishment for making violent threats. If he is convicted, it would be with the greatest burden of proof that our judicial system can require, and in that case, there would have to be proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Also, threats of any kind are not protected speech, and people are prosecuted if their threats are dire enough. So this is hardly a violation of free speech.

It's good that he got reported, but...the possibility of prison? To be honest, get a psychiatrist to evaluate him, have a look in his psyche, keep a careful watch on him, maybe search his house for guns/bombs/sharp objects.

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