Video Games

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

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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."

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  1. I understand going to talk to the kid to see if he’s actually a threat, but there seems to be a serious lack of basic logic when you throw them in jail.

    You’ve got a kid who might fly off the handle and hurt people. So what do you do? You throw him in prison with a bunch of criminals, charge him with a crime, and ruin his life.

    I’m sure that will calm him down and make him less of a threat!

    1. Just look at Justin Carter. He’s been beat up several times in jail. He’s been moved 4 times for his safety. He’s put in a padded cell so he doesn’t hurt himself due to depression. Even if he gets off the kid is going to be a wreck for years to come. All because of selective enforcement. Thousands of gamers say worse stuff than this every day and never get called on it. The only lesson in these cases is, don’t say it in a permanent medium.

  2. “His gleeful last words to Josh were ‘Knock, knock!’ which is a reference to the feds he sent our way,” wrote Stacey Pillault

    Holy shit what a little sniveling dirtbag coward fuck. He called the feds on someone he was arguing with on the internet over a game?

    1. Probably well taught by his publicly schooled progressive parents.

      Just game solo, kids. The NPCs in games will probably be so realistic soon, you won’t be able to tell them from a real human. But hopefully they’ll be more intelligent and not so statist.

      1. Or, hilariously statist, and killable.

      2. Not likely, since almost all game designers are rabid lefties/statists

      3. Just game solo, kids.

        Or just laugh at the idiots who try to aggro you.

        (Wow, “aggro” is in the Firefox dictionary.)

    2. I had someone ‘warn’ me on the Seattle Times comment board becasue I was making “violent threats” when I was asking some police fellator how he’d feel if his door got kicked in during a wrong door raid?

      At some point my original comment even got deleted by Seattle Times moderators as ‘inappropriate’.

      I’ve warned before, yes, we’ve got a problem with government power, but it’s the neighbors who instigate it.

      We’re 1970s East Germany, dude.

      1. There have always been weaselly cowardly little shitbags, dude. It’s just that the internet makes them able to do things that would get their face smashed in if done in person/close proximity to someone.

        If they were arguing in person and this pussy whipped out his cellphone and started calling the FBI as a gotcha, I doubt Pillault would have just stood there.

        1. There have always been weaselly cowardly little shitbags, dude. It’s just that the internet makes them able to do things that would get their face smashed in if done in person/close proximity to someone.

          As a representative of the Weaselly Cowardly Little Shitbags, I feel threatened by your suggestion of violence.

          1. Oh, no, no, Paul. I never get physical. I just get upset. And when I get upset…

            (points at Warty)

            He gets physical.

            1. Trivia time:

              The Duke: You wouldn’t be so fuckin’ flash if you didn’t have him behind you!

              Gene: Yeah, well he fuckin’ has, hasn’t he?

              1. Layer Cake, Paul? When I hand you Back to School? I should punch you right in the face.

                1. Warty as the swarthy little limo driver. I like that.

                  1. In that role they call him Swarty.

  3. “His gleeful last words to Josh were ‘Knock, knock!’

    Now that doesn’t sound malicious at all. Obviously a concerned citizen.

    Is it bad that a part of me wants the last words that person hears to be “Knock, knock”?

    1. He is the one who knocks.

    2. See something, say something! (/orwell)

  4. I know it’s a bad economy and all but jeez you’d have to mow like 2-3 lawns a month to get a world of warcraft account. Hell if you’re too lazy even for that a couple hours begging on a corner would probably do it.

    1. Isn’t WoW only like $15 a month? I don’t know any kids who’d mow my lawn for that.

  5. From the article:

    Josh was adamant about maintaining his innocence, but the family eventually decided that the odds of a conviction were simply too high. On June 20, Josh plead guilty, hoping for a lighter sentence. He is now awaiting transfer to a federal prison, where medical experts will evaluate his mental condition. Sentencing should take place a few months from now. Josh could get 10 years in prison, and a fine of $250,000.

    No mentioning of the disposition of the prosecutor of judge. Hopefully, and I now this is unlikely, but hopefully neither are careerist pigs that are going to bolster their resume by cracking down on teen violence for the children.

    1. This is simply tyranny, nothing less.

      People still like to pretend that we live in an enlightened and just society. We are reverting back to the dark ages at astonishing speed

    2. I kinda hope Josh goes all cape fear on the little shitbag that called the cops on him.

  6. And… no alt-text? The country is literally falling apart. Literally.

  7. Welcome to the wonderful world of thoughtcrime, folks. And who was it on this very blog about a week ago saying we didn’t need to worry about Orwellian society? Pshaw.

    1. Last night it was Derpy, the magical pink pony.

      Last week, who knows. Tony, Shreek, Tulpa?

      1. I was referring to this piece.

    2. I dunno, I think you go over the line when you threaten someone’s high school and mention Columbine in the same sentence.

      But it seems there was a day that if the police got involved, they would go out, talk to the kid, and be able to make an assessment– the talking doing enough to scare most law-abiding mortals– and let everyone walk away with a warning.

      Back in the early 90s some guy called me up, on my phone, and directly threatened to murder me. Like, wait for me outside work and put a bullet in my head.

      I called the cops because I honestly didn’t know what the guy was capable of– and the cop took my statement, asked if there was anything we could work out between us- then offered to call the guy and ‘talk to him’.

      The officer called me back a half hour later, said the guy seemed a little scared that he got called by an officer and didn’t seem serious.

      The dude walked away with a warning. And I’m still alive to talk about it, so I assume the dude wasn’t serious.

  8. The real crime was playing Runescape

    1. Never underestimate… aww fuck it.

    2. Snowden can’t go anywhere in Latin America, at least not in the central and north SA realm, without getting sold out for a bag of dollars. Those are some of the most corrupt nations on earth.

      I’ve been told today by several Brazilians, that they would give him safe haven. Unfortunately, their government won’t. Because they’re too worried about the World Cup and the Olympics, and ‘their’ reputation in the world. Again, talking about the politicians, not the people. Just like here, the political class don’t give a rats fucking ass about the people.

      1. On NPR, Snowden asked for asylum in a number of puzzling places: Cuba.

        I mean, ok… Snowden’s casting a wide net, but if Snowden is doing this for peace, freedom and apple pie, Cuba? Why would someone with Snowden’s principles want asylum in a place like Cuba– putting aside the obvious snark of having to go to Cuba to escape the tyranny of the Obama administration.

        1. Because Cuba has a history of granting asylum to former members of intelligence community.

          It’s like his backup country, in case he doesn’t get into the Ivy’s… Or the for-profit liberal arts college… Or the state schools…

        2. This general argument annoys me. I think he would probably rather live in Cuba than in prison.

          1. In the very short-sighted sense, yes. But that’s a pretty simple way of viewing it. There’s a chance that when he gets to Cuba he’ll be thrown into a Cuban prison in a weird paranoid move by Cuba’s government as a CIA spy. How you feel about the possibility of Cuban prison?

            1. Saying that his life may be worse if he chooses to go to Cuba than if he returns to the US doesn’t bother me.

              It’s the “if Snowden is doing this for peace, freedom and apple pie” part that bothers me. Where he chooses to stay doesn’t impugn on his motives.

              It’s possible that when you in particular ask “Why would someone with Snowden’s principles want asylum in a place like Cuba?” it is because you think he would regret that decision.

              However I keep hearing the whole “WHAT KIND OF FREEDOM LOVER HANGS OUT WITH TEH ENEMY*?!?!” and it drives me crazy.

              *Russia and the PRC are not really our “enemies” (nor are they especially good friends, of course)

              1. It’s possible that when you in particular ask “Why would someone with Snowden’s principles want asylum in a place like Cuba?” it is because you think he would regret that decision.

                Yes, that is what I’m saying. Example: He asked for asylum in Russia, Putin offered it to him on the iron-clad promise that he stop publishing.

                However I keep hearing the whole “WHAT KIND OF FREEDOM LOVER HANGS OUT WITH TEH ENEMY*?!?!” and it drives me crazy.

                That’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying (asking, more) is if your motives are for liberty, you’re going to find yourself sorely disappointed in an old-style communist regime that considers liberty an anathema to their revolution.

          2. Cuba will give him back to the US for a big sack of dollars. We’ve already been there once in the recent past. Snowden isn’t stupid.

        3. He’s been living in a Russian airport, for how long?

          And his closest friend, who will talk to him in person, is Vlad Putin. Putin, a ruthless former KGB officer.

          Can you even imagine how scared this young man is?

          He’s desperate. But still smart, and he has balls of fucking steel.

          Obama and crew are eventually going to make this guy into a hero, of historic proportions. At least, I hope so. There’s probably not much better that could happen for the cause of liberty. This just might turn into one of the greatest stories ever. Or not. We will see.

          1. The country cares more about that stupid Zimmerman case then this. And when the country does care about Snowden, it’s not in a freedom-positive, he’s-a-hero way.

            1. Depending on what ‘country’ you are talking about. If there’s one thing that we are, it’s permanently divided. There’s no going back, the damage is done.

              The Zimmerman case is just more proof of what I just said. The case is a sham, and Zimmerman is being railroaded for the sake of race baiters, senselessly stirring up trouble that will come back to haunt them in ways that their little brains cannot even comprehend.

  9. OT, but did you guys see this? Obama is delaying the Obamacare employer mandate until 2015! Or so he claims…
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07…..-2015.html

    A teeny problem…. the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act says that employers with 50 or more fulltime employees must provide health insurance coverage to all full timers starting the first month after Dec 31, 2013.

    Quick. Someone tell that buffoon Obama: the President can’t re-write a statute that was passed by both houses — BOTH HOUSES — of Congress.

    1. It was in the PM links comments, but not until fairly late.

  10. How does someone bug you that much in Runescape? Sabotage Pest Control (opening the main gate, killing lured brawlers)? Draw hostiles over to where you are trying to mine in peace?

    1. Never played it, but I’d guess something like corpse-camping. It certainly works in other MMOs.

      1. That doesn’t work in Runescape.

  11. OK, heads up!
    “Obama admin delays major requirement of health law”
    “In a major concession to business groups, the Obama administration Tuesday unexpectedly announced a one-year delay, until 2105, in a central requirement of the new health care law that medium and large companies provide coverage for their workers or face fines.”
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/art…..643610.php
    Uh, ‘scuse me? Is this a law such that Obozo decides when and where it is enforced?
    Doesn’t congress have something to say?

    1. Ooops; late to the party again…….

      1. …delay, until 2105…

        Or 90 years’ prescient.

        1. MikeP| 7.2.13 @ 7:25PM |#
          “…delay, until 2105…
          Or 90 years’ prescient.”

          So it never gets repealed, just regularly ‘delayed’ by royal decree?

    2. Next year is midterms, dude. Do we need more explanation? If so, here it is:

      You snappers are gonna get it up the ass with this newly ‘affordable’ healthcare. So vote for us first, then we’ll insert the giant dong up your ass in 2015.

      1. And after the 2014 elections are the 2016 elections. And after that are the …

        If they keep trying to avoid being held responsible for ObamaCare, maybe it’ll never actually go into effect.

    3. OK, but doesn’t it bother anyone that a President just decides not to enforce a law one afternoon? I mean congress used to have some functions.

      1. It bothers me that this aspect of it isn’t being jumped on by Congress, but since I expect less than nothing from them it’s not surprising.

        1. The only thing that congress wants to jump on is a big pile of crony bucks. Most of them are too fucking ancient to jump on anything else due to the retarded state of the electorate in their district.

  12. Making death threats has been able to get you in trouble for as long as I can remember…

    1. Does your picture appear next to “status quo bias” in the dictionary?

      1. By all means threaten violence against others.

        And if they pre-empt and visit serious physical harm on you, suck it up.

        Deal?

    2. Credible and specific death threats, yes. Not this bullshit.

  13. like Barry replied I am blown away that a single mom can earn $5578 in four weeks on the internet. have you read this site http://www.Fly31.com

    1. karenblack7| 7.2.13 @ 8:03PM |#
      “like Barry replied”

      Barry didn’t reply; he just decreed a delay in the implementation.
      Try to keep up.

    2. Made you cross-eyed, did it?

  14. 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….

    Shouldn’t this Runescape player be liable under some of those bullshit cyberbullying laws?

    And that’s why my home has stayed free from the pollution of Xbox Live and other pay-for-play gaming. I refuse to pay for the privilege of gaming with someone I can’t reach out and slap across the back of the head when they get mouthy.

    1. Maybe so, given the climate.

      Yes, the current climate of irrational stupidity.

      1. Bollocks. Threatening people is pathetic, stupid, and occasionally a warning sign.

        If you want to be a big boy, go full on Aaron Hernandez or STFU.

        1. Anders| 7.2.13 @ 8:31PM |#
          “Bollocks. Threatening people is pathetic, stupid, and occasionally a warning sign.”

          So A-1 is just sort of window dressing?

          1. Are you Karen Black?

            1. Anders| 7.2.13 @ 8:49PM |#
              “Are you Karen Black?”

              Care to answer the question, or do you think being cute is answer?

        2. go full on Aaron Hernandez or STFU

          What if I don’t “STFU?” Is that a threat? Are you implying that you’re going to do to me what Aaron Hernandez did to his buddy? I think maybe you are. Maybe I should alert the authorities. You can never be too careful, given the climate.

  15. Mute button is your friend.

  16. Anders seems to have decided his/her answers need more thought, right Anders?

    1. More implies that there was thought involved in the first place. That is not evident at this time.

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