A teenager in Maryland has been arrested and is now facing serious charges for sending a threatening message over Xbox Live. The catch to this one is that he sent the message on another person’s account — not his own. According to Union County Prosecutor, Theodore J. Romankow, the teen obtained the password of an Xbox Live account belonging to a Berkeley Heights HS student after he made a transaction on a “third party website.”
There is no indication as to what the transaction was for, but police do know that it involved the game Madden. After the teen from Maryland had the password, he hijacked the account and proceeded to send a threatening message to the people on the boy’s friends list — some of which happened to be his classmates. The message sent by the Maryland teen said that he would bring a gun to school the following day and use to shoot his fellow students.
Parents were alerted to contents of the message and quickly informed the Police. The boy who’s the owner of the account denied ever sending the message. It was after Microsoft turned over records of the account to police that they learned the origin of the message was Maryland — not New Jersey where the account holder was from. Members of the Berkley Heights Police Department took a trip to Maryland where they worked with local officials and arrested the teen responsible.
While prosecutor Romankow says the boy was “simply trying to play a game, and his on line account was used for a criminal purpose,” this should serve as a reminder to never deal with anything not officially linked to console manufacturer–in this case Microsoft–or the developer/publisher of a game. This is just an example of what could happen if you do. Luckily there was never any real threat of danger.
Maryland teenager charged with making threat against Berkeley Heights students [Union County Prosecutor’s Office]