Police said on Monday two men from Iowa made online threats using references to the Boston Marathon bombings and the Columbine High School massacre, against Pokemon competitors. The two men then drove 25 hours to Boston, where they were stopped as they tried to enter the World Pokemon Championships.
18 year old Kevin Norton and 27 years old James Stumbo were ordered to be held without bail on gun charges Monday pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for Sept. 1. Boston police Commissioner William Evans said both Ohio natives were experienced players who were invited to attend the event at the Hynes Convention Center.
Evans said the moderator of the Pokemon forum in which the threatening statements were made, notified security at the convention center then Hynes officials notified police. According to Evans after the two men were stopped police seized their car, which they believed they had guns and ammunition, but they released the men as they waited for a search warrant.
Norton and Stumbo were arrested Saturday morning at a hotel just north of Boston. Police said Officers found a 12-gauge shotgun, an AR-15 rifle, several hundred rounds of ammunition and a hunting knife in their car.
Neither man was able to produce a gun license. According to Evans police aren’t sure exactly what they intended to do or what their motives were, but believe they posed a “serious threat” to the people at the competition.
In a Facebook chat room conversation with several people, Stumbo posted “Kevin Norton and I are ready for worlds Boston here we come!!!” as the caption below a picture of Norton’s car with the AR-15 and shotgun displayed on its trunk.
Norton was banned from accessing a chat room for bullying another person and he stated “Oh, ok, that’s fine then I will just shoot him on Friday thanks.” Contestants from more than 30 countries competed at the three-day, invitation-only Pokemon event for a share of more than $500,000 in scholarship awards, including $10,000 for each Pokemon Video Game World Champion and $25,000 for each Trading Card Game World Champion.
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