Posted on December 13, 2007,

Threat Made Over Xbox Live Leads to an Arrest

arrested.jpg

This should go out as a lesson to anyone who feels the need to threaten others over Xbox Live – be careful of what you say. This is no doubt what a 19-year-old Frostburg State University student is thinking after being taken into custody after making a threat of “shooting up the school” while playing Call of Duty 4 on Xbox Live.

According to the Cumberland Times, Allieu Shaw has been charged with two misdemeanor counts of disrupting a school operation. He faces a maximum penalty of one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000. That’s nothing to cough at.

He was reported to local police by Kaipo Damurand, who resides in Oregon. Shaw was arrested Tuesday afternoon after police learned his location.

I would hold hope that gamers on Xbox Live will be more careful with what they say from now on, but I know better than that.

Cumberland Times

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10 Comments on Threat Made Over Xbox Live Leads to an Arrest

Daniel

On December 13, 2007 at 10:32 am

What I learned from this story is that it’s OK to make racist and homophobic comments over Xbox Live, but the second you mention shooting up a school, that’s when the line is drawn.

somewhat

On December 13, 2007 at 11:16 am

@ Daniel
Sorry to say you’re right, but with the recent and very public school shootings in the mainstream media, this would take precedence over other crimes. Whatcha gonna do ? Hopefully it will incite a few more people to report over the top racism etc… to authorities. But you’d have to record all your games to have some evidence. I prefer to just mute the idiots and not give them the forum they so desperately crave.

William

On December 13, 2007 at 11:19 am

well.. it sucks but people really should have the right to be racist or homophobic.. I mean we can’t regulate intelligence after all. But any asswipe who makes a threat to shoot up a school deserves to go down.

Racism and such is all over XBL but there’s really not much that’s going to be done about it unless they combine threats with their racism. It also depends on the state you live in too. Places like Virginia will not make an arrest based on a threat 99/100 times unless the threat can be proven as legitimate.

SpiralGray

On December 13, 2007 at 2:23 pm

These kind of things are always a really tough call. If the authorities do nothing and the person follows through on their threat the authorities are taken to task for doing nothing. If they do something and the kid was “just joking around” they get taken to task for being jack-booted thugs.

Personally, I think people need to grow a brain and stop making “jokes” like that in public forums. It’s no different than these idiots who make a “joke” about having a bomb while in line at the airport, then get all ticked off when they miss their non-refundable flight.

Xboxlenny

On December 13, 2007 at 2:40 pm

thats totaly lame that the , person of different appearance ronald mcdonald got arrested for his gun toting remarks, im sure its over the frustrations of playing that usless COD 4. He was a young punk just frustrated on probaly getting his ass kicked and said a few bad words.

I can see them not taking light of the matter but still, people say worse on Xbox live, its just who hears it i guess. I doubt he would ever shoot up his school, people do take things overboard but its better to take precautions and not have the school shot up. Ya cops go too far, they shouldnt charge him at all i think, he only was upset and its freedom of speech. No cheezeburgers for this clown.

Ron Whitaker

On December 13, 2007 at 4:11 pm

@XBoxlenny: Freedom of speech really doesn’t apply here. There are limits on freedom of speech. For instance, you can’t yell fire in a crowded theater without repercussions. You can’t call up the White House and threaten the President without repercussions. Your freedom of speech only extends so far.

It’s situations like these that place authorities between a rock and a hard place, as SpiralGray said. Once the threat is reported, the authorities have an obligation to look into it. It’s really a no-win for them at that point. No matter what action they take, they’re going to end up being chastised for it, but they have to err on the side of public safety. With the current climate surrounding things like school shootings, it’s no wonder this turned out like it did.

People have always had a penchant for being bolder online than in real life. It has to do with the anonymity of the internet/online environment. In this case though, someone picked up his Gamertag, and reported him. Hopefully, he’ll learn a valuable life lesson from it.

Xboxlenny

On December 13, 2007 at 5:03 pm

True, freedom of speech is different from dangerous threats or personal treats. But still you know most people that rant on Xbox live only are frustrated or got their asses kicked and only cry over it. Thats all i was refering to as freedom of speech. Defently anyone in that situation to threaten a persons life or endanger others should be dealt with.

havoc of smeg

On December 13, 2007 at 5:58 pm

this is a good thing. hopefully this will keep the bad manners down.
but it is worrying that it has taken this long for something to be done, considering i’ve heard storys of equally severe things being said.

Averre

On December 13, 2007 at 6:59 pm

Yeah i gotta agree with the Smegger…hopefully he learned his lesson if it was just him talking smack…if it was…more serious then i’m glad they were able to catch it.

Xbox Live needs more restrictions concerning it’s playerbase, hopefully this is the first step.

Jose

On December 13, 2007 at 9:30 pm

Wow… I wonder how many instances of this would be called on through the PC. I’v heard more than an encyclopedia full of death threats online playing BF2. I think its good to watch out for problems like this but, its kind of messed up that he got singled out.