Civil Liberties

Yet Another Young Man in Jail for Making Feckless Threats to Video Game Opponents


I blogged last week about Texas teen Justin Carter rotting in jail for making ridiculous threats to a game opponent on Facebook. Turns out that this is not an unknown use of American judicial resources.

Robby Soave at Daily Caller wrote today about another such case, including an interview with the arrested young man's mom.

The jist:

Josh Pillault was arrested last October for threatening to kill people and destroy buildings. At the time of his arrest, he was 19-years-old, and an avid video game player.

The threats were made while he was playing "Runescape," an online multiplayer fantasy game. Another player began antagonizing him, and eventually told him to kill himself.

Irritated, Pillault said he would kill not just himself, but also take out the local high school. He also mentioned Columbine — the name of an infamous school shooting — according to reports.

It was the response that the other player had been hoping for, according to Pillault's mother.

"His gleeful last words to Josh were 'Knock, knock!' which is a reference to the feds he sent our way," wrote Stacey Pillault in an email to TheDC News Foundation….

Pillault….was already in jail at the time of the Newtown shooting. His mother said he was extremely upset by the news — and that people might associate him with such violence….

"Did he say something incredibly stupid? Sure he did," wrote Pillault's mother. "Should alarm bells have been rung? Maybe so, given the climate. But this was a false alarm."