Last June 19-year-old David Rowntree grabbed a sawed-off shotgun and went on a two-day criminal rampage, stealing two cars and committing multiple burglaries. Now Rowntree tells a Melbourne, Australia, court that he felt like a computer game hero.
Rowntree's 2010 rampage was impressive, to say the least. The young man forced a lockdown around the Melbourne Cricket Grounds sports precinct after being spotted in the area with a shotgun. He committed multiple aggravated burglaries, at least one armed robbery, and later led police on a car chase that caused the judge at the Melbourne court to compare him to O.J. Simpson, which is never a good thing.
Rowntree evaded police in the chase, only to be captured later in a residential area north of Melbourne.
Now 20 years old, Rowntree read a letter before the court in Melbourne yesterday, explaining that he had been drinking prior to the rampage and felt like a hero in a computer game.
"I feel really dumb to admit it, but I felt like the hero in the computer games ... but I really believed I was invincible (and) something really crazy happened when I got hold of a gun," he wrote.
I suppose we can all assume which computer game he was referring to.
Rowntree told the court he felt "invincible" at the time. Now he feels his actions were "stupid".
So he's learned something. Rowntree has pleaded guilty to 14 charges and is awaiting sentencing.
Did a computer game cause this rampage? Probably not. Rowntree had recently been released on parole in March, after being incarcerated for burning down a house to get rid of fingerprints left during a burglary.