Crime is a constant feature of video games writing. Somewhere, someone is doing something illicit with them—sometimes comically stupid, sometimes tragic. Games and consoles are currency, objects of dispute, sometimes even weapons themselves. Kotaku's Police Blotter is here to round up the latest in games crime.
FREDERICK, Md.—An 18-year-old was sentenced to seven years in prison for shooting a friend who interrupted his video game session back in December. Dylan Jesse Gray, 18, and friends were playing games that evening when the unnamed victim knocked on their door. After no one answered, he rapped on a window, annoying Gray. He told authorities he grabbed a .32-caliber handgun from his bedroom, believing it was unloaded and intending to scare the victim. Instead he fired a shot into his upper right chest.
"Why, man?" the victim asked at Gray's sentencing hearing on Thursday. "I made a careless mistake," Gray said. "I'll send you a letter," the victim said. After Gray apologized again, the victim said, "It's OK," according to the Frederick News-Post.
Another friend admitted to police that he brought the gun to Gray's residence and tried to hide it later. The victim even attempted to cover for Gray and his accomplices, telling authorities he had been shot in the street by teenagers he didn't know. In addition to the seven-year sentence of active time, Gray was given an 18-year suspended sentence. [Frederick News-Post]
LOUISVILLE—A 26-year-old man is in jail after a violent attack on his girlfriend in which he beat her with "an Xbox controller" and broke down a bathroom door attempting to set her purse on fire. Police officers, called to the scene by the victim as she was locked in the bathroom, entered the residence after hearing her pleading for help and "the sound of fist-to-skin contact," reports The Courier-Journal of Louisville. James Comenzind has been charged with wanton endangerment, assault, resisting arrest and unlawful imprisonment. [The Courier-Journal]
OXFORD, Miss.—A 20-year-old man accused of plotting to attack his local high school admits making statements to that effect while playing Runescape but says in no way was he being serious. Joshua Brandon Pillault is facing federal charges of domestic terrorism in his trial. He was arrested Oct. 8 after a gamer from Virginia heard him discussing the attack in Runescape's chat and contacted local police. Pillault is scheduled to go to trial on June 24. [The Oxford Eagle]
ATLANTA—Police are offering a $25,000 reward for information on the May 25 murder of Patrick Cotrona, a developer working for Atlanta-based Eyes Wide Games. Police say Cotrona, 33, was walking with friends to a bar when two suspects, believed to be in their teens, jumped out of a car demanding his wallet. They shot him once in the abdomen and then fled.
Cotrona graduated from Georgia Tech, with highest honors, in 2003 with a degree in computer science. He was a senior engineer at Eyes Wide, which has adapted television properties such as Top Gear and The Walking Dead into Facebook games.
Cotrona's death is the latest in a string of violent crimes that are believed to be linked. In another, a 22-year-old man was shot in the face, though he lived. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, facing criticism for his administration's public safety record, has vowed to find those responsible. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
Lots of strange things happen in the pages of your local newspaper or on the 6 o'clock news. If you see something, say something. To me, that is. I'd like to write it up. Remember: You need not reveal your identity.