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Student Arrested For Using Phone App To 'Shoot' Classmates 706

Posted by Soulskill
from the probably-time-to-shut-down-that-old-quake-server dept.
New submitter Lord_Breetai sends word that a Louisiana high school student has been arrested for using a mobile app to simulate shooting his classmates. The app overlays an FPS-style gun and UI over a real background seen through the device's camera. The student tried it out and then unwisely posted a video of it on YouTube. Another student's parent saw the video and reported it to authorities. Major Wolfe of the local police said, "You can't ignore it. We don't know at what time that game becomes reality. He said it was a result of him being frustrated and tired of being bullied. He said that he had no intentions of hurting anybody. We have to take all threats seriously and we have no way of knowing that without investigating and getting to the bottom of it. With all the school shooting we've had in the United States, it's just not a very good game to be playing at this time." The boy is now facing criminal charges for terrorizing and interference of the operation of a school.
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Student Arrested For Using Phone App To 'Shoot' Classmates

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  • Really? (Score:5, Funny)

    by nospam007 (722110) * on Saturday September 14, 2013 @09:30AM (#44848213)

    If they'd discovered his Whip-App, he would have been accused of racism too.
    Not to mention the beer app, since he's under 21.

    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ZosX (517789) <zosxavius AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday September 14, 2013 @09:36AM (#44848227) Homepage

      This is fucking unreal. Thought crime to the fucking max man.

      • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gagol (583737) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @09:37AM (#44848231)
        This generation will be so fucked up, its not even funny anymore.
        • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ZosX (517789) <zosxavius AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday September 14, 2013 @09:43AM (#44848265) Homepage

          when I was a kid nobody would have thought twice about this. now this kid is in jail. he's the one that was bullied. i was bullied a lot in grade school, so I fully understand his frustrations and anger. next the "crushing his head" skit will be banned. our future is fucking fucked.

          • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Blue Stone (582566) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @01:33PM (#44849927) Homepage Journal

            The problem is clear - those people in authority in your country - they are incapable of a proportionate response - their judgment is terrible; faulty; bordering on the insane: they are unfit to govern, lacking basic reason abilities and judgment. There seems to be no facility or investment in the concept of "is this fair?".

            You have an anemy within your country and it is the ignorant, incompetent aresholes who are running it; they are unfit to weild the power they have been given.

          • Re:Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Dahamma (304068) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @05:30PM (#44851685)

            Hah, that's the first thing I thought of when reading this.

            "I'm crushing your head, I'm crushing you head!!"

            "A 17 year old was arrested today for allegedly threatening to murder a classmate with his thumb and index finger. Police and school authorities are blaming a Canadian terrorist group for encouraging the act".

        • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ZosX (517789) <zosxavius AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday September 14, 2013 @09:44AM (#44848273) Homepage

          and let me add....he's 15. a minor. charges? wtf is this country coming to that even kids are now criminals?! WTF AMERICA??

          • by nurb432 (527695)

            While i disagree with the topic being a crime, being underage does not somehow magically exclude you from being a criminal. Criminal behavior has no boundaries.

        • I blame the complete lack of tolerance for violence in schools. Ask someone who graduated in the last ten years about the fights they got into at school. Now ask someone 20 or even just 10 years older than that the same question. It was a relatively rapid change where occasional fights were the norm, to being unthinkable. I don't know if it was us applying rules that made sense for schools where kids brought shivs, to schools that didn't have anything more than normal scuffles, or just the general risk

        • Re:Really? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by burningcpu (1234256) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @12:00PM (#44849199)
          In 1999 when I was a freshman in HS, I saw another freshman walk up behind another kid and jokingly put a plastic knife from the lunch room to his back. He said, "give me all your money."

          Unfortunately, a teacher also saw this harmless joke. The kid was arrested and expelled from the entire school district.
    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @09:58AM (#44848361)

      The root of the problem is that crime rates have fallen dramatically over the last two decades, while the number of police officers has not. The cops don't have enough real crime to deal with, so they fill the vacuum with make believe crime instead. The solution is to either reduce the number of police, or to refocus them on community policing and crime reduction rather than "making arrests".

      • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @10:07AM (#44848419)

        So has the rate of violent crime in schools:

        http://curry.virginia.edu/research/projects/violence-in-schools/school-violence-myths [virginia.edu]

      • Re:Really? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by mysidia (191772) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @10:28AM (#44848563)

        The solution is to either reduce the number of police, or to refocus them on community policing and crime reduction rather than "making arrests".

        Of course... I would suggest concentrating the surplus officers in the higher crime areas, and have a higher density of patrols in those areas, wherever those happen to be statistically speaking; and promoting community policing.

        Also.... some of those officers could be reassigned from policing the streets to Internal policing; that is monitoring their colleagues for possible wrongdoing; or standing by to assist colleagues, BUT doing other useful work for the people in the meantime --- other useful work such as gathering field data on the streets for research or government planning purposes; outreach programs -- just being present somewhere in uniform or with their car to be "visible" as a friendly reminder to the public to follow the law; in various places, such as around or visiting bars; not to make arrests, but to go around reminding potential patrons about the law; just either through friendly conversation, or by standing about in a place visible to as many people as possible.

        They can also put surplus officers on a task of using their brain to think outside the box, and investigate the possible existence of more complicated criminal schemes; such as the fraud involved in Banks misstating the value of their mortgage bonds and credit default swaps leading up to the housing crisis.

    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hodet (620484) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @10:15AM (#44848475)

      Ya lets not help the kid socially integrate into his surroundings. Press criminal charges for his thoughts. They should be grateful they got an actual clue to a problem rather then trying to suppress his attempts to deal with his situation and make his day more bearable.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 14, 2013 @09:35AM (#44848223)

    Zero tolerance, complete risk avoidance, and neopuritanism while half the country cares more about what happens after you die than the encroaching totalitarianism.

  • Oh good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 14, 2013 @09:35AM (#44848225)

    He said it was a result of him being frustrated and tired of being bullied.

    and what a better way to deal with this than let the police and justice system bully him instead

  • Yet another display of unbeleivable stupidity. Though tasteless the app be , it's still a stupid game and frankly .. haven't we all something better to do than waste time on this total waste of time article ? Cops and school are bunch of idiots and so is the guy holding the cam .. moving right along folks :D

    • Re:YADOUS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @09:57AM (#44848357) Homepage
      Your post is also an unbelievable display of stupidity. Your solution to what is clearly now a pervasive problem in this country is to ignore it and "move along." Seriously? Sure, there is a lot of idiocy in this whole scenario, but when idiocy results in the harmless posting of a video on youtube that is one thing. The idiocy of arresting the kid is quite another. The first was a commission of error by a high school student and nobody lost their freedom. The second is an actual crime. A grown man in a position of authority has used that authority to take away the freedom of a youth to cover his own ass and appear "tough on crime." I fully intended to post contact information to this idiot so that we all could send him a note telling him what a criminal he truly is, but The Terrebone Parish Website [tpso.net] (administration info in link, presumably) is down at the moment, so at least not everyone is irresponsible enough to see this and shrug it off with an air of irresponsibility.
    • Re:YADOUS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Zumbs (1241138) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @10:20AM (#44848509) Homepage
      I think this article is a telling display of a society moving in the wrong direction. A boy was being bullied and his cry for help (the video) has now lead to his arrest, putting him in an even worse situation. In a sane society, it would have lead to him getting help to tackle the bullying and get on with his life.
  • What... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ruzgfpegk (878778) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @09:38AM (#44848243)
    So they don't think it's a problem if he's bullied, but if he plays a game where he does something about it (because no one else will ever do anything) he becomes the bad guy? And they still wonder why they have school shootings?
    • Re:What... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by boarder8925 (714555) <thegreentrilby@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Saturday September 14, 2013 @10:29AM (#44848575) Homepage
      Look at it as a life lesson: They don't want kids growing up to stand up to the bullies they'll face in adult life, so they don't let them do it as kids.
    • by hedwards (940851)

      Bullying isn't something that schools care about. And neither is child abuse. In order to get the schools to care, you pretty much have to be beating the kids in front of the principal. It gets rather ridiculous as simply just seeing a bunch of belt shaped welts on a kid isn't enough to forward things for investigation, because that could just be corporal punishment. Well, hitting a kid with a belt isn't punishment, and leaving marks is definitely not punishment.

      As long as schools aren't held accountable fo

  • by lesincompetent (2836253) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @09:39AM (#44848247)

    We have to take all threats seriously [...]

    Of course you have to but no, an app is not a threat.

    • We have to take all threats seriously [...]

      Of course you have to but no, an app is not a threat.

      Of course not. I think that what got him in trouble was "... unwisely posted a video of it on YouTube".

      The video alone, without the app, could be seen as a threat.

      Of course, after some some clarification, things should not have escalated as they did.

    • by hodet (620484)

      Ya, they must take it seriously, the kid should be down at the firing range with an AK47 taking it out on a target with a human silhouette.

  • With all the school shooting we've had in the United States, it's just not a very good game to be playing at this time

    Yeah, except that the app itself tells the users "not to use real guns in the real world". I think it's actually a pretty good thing to play with at this time, lest the people forget.

  • Guns are bad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @09:40AM (#44848251)

    Stop with the stupid "right to bear arms" crap and stuff like this will not bother anyone. It's just a game on a display.

    And I'd say that 99% of the school shootings are due to people being harassed and bullied by groups, so teaching kids to be better persons and tolerate others would do a much better job than trying to catch oppressed people in the last stage of "I don't know what the fuck I'm supposed to do to get out of this situation anymore".

    • Re:Guns are bad (Score:5, Informative)

      by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Saturday September 14, 2013 @10:56AM (#44848739) Homepage Journal

      Stop with the stupid "right to bear arms" crap and stuff like this will not bother anyone.

      Buh? And also, buh? Nobody is suggesting that kids have the right to take actual firearms to school, so how on earth did you get from there to here?

    • by DarkOx (621550)

      The problem is there is to much enforcement. It used to be that if someone was bullying you at some point you go fed up with it and just took a swing at them. You did not even have to win the fight, after that the other guy would at least get their may be unwanted negative consequences to picking on you all the time.

      Schools used to let this stuff happen a little bit in elementary and middle school grades; where students were unlikely to do serious or permanent injury to each other. This way by the time t

  • Solidarity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hammeraxe (1635169) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @09:41AM (#44848255)

    I think all his classmates should download the app, make similar videos and upload them to youtube just to show how ridiculous this is. They can't arrest them all.
    The guy is facing CRIMINAL CHARGES for fucks sake!

  • by kthreadd (1558445) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @09:42AM (#44848261)

    No you don't. You should use your brain first.

    • by pablo_max (626328)

      look at it from the police perspective. What if they do nothing. What if next year this kid really does do something? Who do you think will get the blame? The police will. So, they act, even though they know it is complete nonsense. Because they know that if this kid does anything down the line, they will be a scape goat for ignoring the obvious "warning signs".
      Crap I know, but that is how it could go down.

      • by 0111 1110 (518466)

        By that same reasoning I guess they had better arrest everyone who plays violent video games. It's the only way to be sure.

      • by kthreadd (1558445) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @10:11AM (#44848451)

        look at it from the police perspective. What if they do nothing. What if next year this kid really does do something? Who do you think will get the blame? The police will. So, they act, even though they know it is complete nonsense. Because they know that if this kid does anything down the line, they will be a scape goat for ignoring the obvious "warning signs".
        Crap I know, but that is how it could go down.

        They should arrest him if he actually does something illegal. You don't arrest people because of "warning signs."

  • by linebackn (131821) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @09:49AM (#44848289)

    Isn't there an app so simulate arresting him? That sounds like it would have been more appropriate.

  • It's a damned shame his life has to be ruined for something so stupid. Scare him, maybe. Charge him, definitely not.

  • Unsure of reality? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by KeensMustard (655606) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @09:54AM (#44848333)
    Are you an officer of the LAW?

    Are you unable to discern when computer games have become reality?

    Here's some helpful signs for our boys in blue:

    Scenario 1: It's quite dark, there are men wearing suits with bright flouro stripes. Jeff Bridges is there. COMPUTER GAME HAS BECOME REALITY.

    Scenario 2: You like to play starfighter. You have just beaten the high score, and a man in a hat is inviting you to go for a ride in his car that can fly. YOUR GAME IS ABOUT TO BECOME REALITY.

    Scenario 3: You are hacked into a computer. Is it calling itself joshua? Is it seemingly reluctant to play Thermonuclear War? YOUR GAME IS ABOUT TO BECOME REALITY.

    Scenario 4: Your life doesn't resemble Scenarios 1 - 3? You life is not a computer game.

    Sorry.

    Play Again (Y/N)?

  • Pffff (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sociocapitalist (2471722) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @09:54AM (#44848335)

    "The boy is charged with terrorizing and interference with the operation of a school."

    What's next? Arresting pre-schoolers who point a finger and go 'Bang Bang!!" ???

    Maybe if guns weren't so fucking easy to come by the US wouldn't have to arrest kids for being kids.

    Fucking idiots.

  • terrorism? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lawrence_Bird (67278) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @09:55AM (#44848341) Homepage

    who the fuck was harmed? no one. interfering with school ops? when? how?

    The US has become a nation of fucking pussies. Thankfully it seems that a lot of under 25's are rejecting the fucked up views of their parents and grandparents. The late babyboom and near postboom generations have been a disaster in just about every way possible.

    • Re:terrorism? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by scotts13 (1371443) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @10:14AM (#44848469)

      who the fuck was harmed? no one. interfering with school ops? when? how?

      Indeed. Other than by the meddling actions of one parent, no one at the school would ever have known. No one was "terrorized" (other than this one student), the school was not interfered with. But NOW, we have an individual that know authority is capricious and unfair. Perhaps he will lash out...

  • by pablo_max (626328) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @09:56AM (#44848345)

    America is a country which values the right to have high capacity magazines for assault weapons over the freedom of speech.
    It it more important to ensure the blind can carry a concealed firearm than it is to ensure the children of the country are properly educated.
    It is more important to spend nearly 5% of the GDP on a military, not counting the illegal wars than to allow your fellow countrymen access to affordable health care.
    That is the very definition of a morally corrupted system.
    It is simply a fact. Most of the people simply do not care about what is going on in America as long as their personal situation is OK. As long as they can buy an iPhone 10s for 1$ on a 5 year contract.
    There is only one possible outcome here. America has been on this road since the 70's. Some argue since the end of WW2. It is only now, as things have progressed so far that the visible signs are escalating.
    I do not say that Americans are bad people, because I believe that they are, on the average "just folk". Just trying to get by. They are, unfortunately, a product of the system which produced them. That system, just didn't have their interests in mind.

  • by s0nicfreak (615390) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @10:01AM (#44848387) Homepage Journal
    i.e. assaulting other students, not just making "threats" but actually doing things, they let that slide. But pretending to shoot other students is an arrest-able offense.

    There is noting unwise about posting videos of a game on youtube. What was unwise was assuming the adults in the school - the people that are suppose to be educating these students, and who are basically raising them, since they are with them more waking hours than their parents - have half a brain between them.
  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @10:01AM (#44848389) Homepage

    Imagine if he had been the kind of psychopath that would image -- and even trivialize -- crushing people's skulls [youtube.com].

  • by icannotthinkofaname (1480543) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @10:14AM (#44848465) Journal

    We don't know at what time that game becomes reality.

    That's a good question. To the end of answering it, I'd like to be the kid's defense attorney for this case, because I've played through all of the Ace Attorney games, and I'm looking forward to the new one coming out soon in English.

    This proposal is a simple one. If I am not allowed to defend the kid in court based on my experience with law video games, then they can't use video games to call him a murderer, so the prosecution has no case on those grounds. If I am allowed to defend him just because I've played some law video games, then we are unlikely to be able to make a decent defense case (but these are criminal charges, so reasonable doubt is a thing).

    If the kid can be a murderer because of a mobile game, then I should be able to be his attorney because of Phoenix Wright.

  • With all the school shooting we've had in the United States, it's just not a very good game to be playing at this time." The boy is now facing criminal charges for terrorizing and interference of the operation of a school.

    So, instead of just counseling the lad, and maybe talking to teachers and investigating the bullying, we're not going to fix the situation, but make an example out of the kid for doing the equivalent of making a "gun" with his finger and saying "bang". In fact, the over-reaction by the school will just ensure that the very kind of people who actually DO shoot up schools will not go to the grownups for help for fear of being jailed as a terrorist for their thoughtcrimes.

    Will you scared little fuckers actually do anything I want if I drum up threats of your woman and children being harmed? Of course you will. School Bus Drivers kill more kids in accidents than school shootings do. You Fucking morons are so easy to control. Keep the environment, make more examples to make the environment worse and thus gain more control through fear. We've got you to acclimate children to not walking home without supervision, despite child predator numbers being at an all time low, and acclimated to wearing RFID tags and getting retinal scans for no good reason.

    1984's big brother is OK so long as he's "protecting" kids from harm, not oppressing adults? Proitp: Your indoctrination starts when you're yet young. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Soon we'll have you implanting microchips in babies that ping a wireless network, so they don't get lost... And brining your kids up to be the model dystopian citizens. Fools.

  • A threat is a threat (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jeorgen (84395) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @10:21AM (#44848517)
    Well, if you would send a letter to someone saying they will die, then that it is most obviously a threat. If instead, you would send a drawing, showing them dying, it would still be a threat. If you publicly or in a way that at least can bee seen by the persons depicted, post a video of them getting shot, that is still a threat. Now, I am not familiar with this app, and it might be that it does such an unrealistic job as to it not being something that can be taken seriously, but if it does a good job, and somebody decides to post it or send it so that it gets the attention of the people in the film, well then it is a threat. Think like this: If "three fingers Joe" of the mob posted the same video, I think it would be pretty clear to see that it is a threat.
  • by gerardrj (207690) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @10:45AM (#44848669) Journal

    A 7 year old was arrested for terroristic actions after tossing an airplane across the classroom and it hit the wall, knocking a "teacher of the year" plaque slightly askew. The stunt reportedly tossed the airplane without any reaction from classmates. When one of the students relayed the story to her parents they decided to call the police to warn of the anti-social behavior. When asked, Police Chief Marny Logan said "We had to take it seriously, you never when he'll switch from paper airplanes to real ones. We can't teach kids that it is okay to fly aircraft in to buildings."

    In other news: using chalk to draw in the street is found to increase the risk of future graffiti crime by 43%. Children who stick objects in their nose will one day use a straw and accidentally snort cocaine.

  • by mysidia (191772) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @10:50AM (#44848699)
    • They cannot distinguish fantasy or fiction from reality. --- We don't know at what time that game becomes reality.
    • Cannot conduct affairs appropriately due to psychosis or Subject to uncontrollable impulsive behavior --- "You can't ignore it"
    • Impulsive reaction to fictional threats; therefore, the officials are a hazard to themselves and others --- "He said that he had no intentions of hurting anybody." "We have to take all threats seriously"
  • by Xenious (24845) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @10:52AM (#44848715)

    I'd like to see this go to trial and see if they can really get a conviction. It would be very cool if they fail and then get sued for damages and compensation.

  • by dbc (135354) on Saturday September 14, 2013 @11:41AM (#44849021)

    Maybe address the cause of all the anger and frustration?

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