Two blokes turned up to the Pokemon World Championships with some serious weaponry and enough ammunition to choke an elephant.
Boston police arrested Masters invitees James Austin Stumbo, 27, and Kevin Norton, 18, at the Pokemon World Championships this weekend.
According to Boston Police News, the police acted on information received from the public “regarding threats of violence made over social media to attendees of the Pokemon World Championships”.
BPD Bureau of Intelligence and Analysis Commander superintendent Paul Fitzgerald described the pair’s actions as a “very real threat” and said police had prevented “a potential tragedy”.
Stumbo and Norton were stopped as they attempted to enter the event. Police then searched the pair’s vehicle, which they’d driven up from Iowa, and discovered “one 12-gauge Remington shotgun, one DPM5 Model AR-15 rifle, several hundred rounds of ammunition, and a hunting knife”.
The two men were then arrested back at their hotel on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, and other firearm-related charges. Neither could produce a license to carry firearms.
When initially stopped and questioned Stumbo told police the social media posts were taken out of context, according to the Daily Beast. Norton gave police the location of the pair’s car and admitted it contained weapons. He said he owned the shotgun and Norton owned the AR-15.
It’s not clear what the “threats of violence made over social media” were, but The Daily Beast cited a photo of the pair’s arsenal, posted to a Facebook group by Norton, with a caption saying the two men were “ready for Worlds Boston”.
When a commenter wished Norton luck, he replied “With killing the competition?”
The Pokemon International Company issued a statement saying the player community made it aware of the threat, and it passed the information on “as soon as possible” to staff at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center, who contacted police.
“Due to quick action, the potential threat was resolved. The Pokemon Company International takes the safety of our fans seriously and will continue to ensure proper security measures are a priority,” the company said.
Seems like a good opportunity to issue a reminder not to spout violent trash talk or make threats, ever, and to report any such incidents to authorities immediately.