The Boston Police Department have arrested two Worlds competitors for threats that were made online which could have potentially put everybody at this weekend’s World Championships in danger.
Kevin Norton, 18, and James Stumbo, 27, on Thursday had made threats on a private Facebook group about potentially shooting competitors at Worlds. The image above is a screenshot of what was said. It is unsure if this was done in a joking matter but several players took these words seriously and had reported them to The Pokemon Company International. This information was then handed over to security officers at the Hynes Convention Center, officers in Boston Police Department, and the BRIC who further investigated the situation. Furthermore, security was tighten at the Hynes Convention Center which included bag checks at every entrance and bomb-sniffing dogs.
Norton and Stumbo drove from Iowa in order to compete in Worlds this year. They had both received invites to compete in the TCG tournament after a long competitive season. Though, as they were attempting to enter the Hynes Convention Center unarmed, the pair was stopped and had their car seized by authorities. A search warrant was received and executed on Friday for the car where detectives found one 12-gauge Remington shotgun, one DPM5 Model AR-15 rifle, several hundred rounds of ammunition, and a hunting knife. An arrest warrant was then issued for Norton and Stumbo. Both were found at a hotel and brought in by the police. Norton or Stumbo couldn’t produce a License to Carry for their firearms.
The pair have been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition and other charges. They are currently behind bars and are awaiting to be arraigned at Boston Municipal Court on Monday.
The Pokemon Company International had this to say about the situation:
“Prior to the event this weekend, our community of players made us aware of a security issue. We gathered information and gave it as soon as possible to the authorities at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center who acted swiftly and spearheaded communication with the Boston Police Department. Due to quick action, the potential threat was resolved. The Pokémon Company International takes the safety of our fans seriously and will continue to ensure proper security measures are a priority.”
Thank goodness this situation ended with nobody getting hurt or worst. Worlds is an annual event to celebrate the hard work of Pokemon players of all ages from all over the world. This is suppose to be an event where everybody could come together and enjoy something they love without worry of being harmed. It is great to know that tPCI takes things like this seriously in order to ensure that their fans from all over the world can safely enjoy Pokemon while having fun at the same time. This whole thing could have ended in a horrifying way but it was prevented by the swift actions of everybody involved. Boston Police Department and tPCI made many good decisions this week which included holding off in releasing information about these threats until the end of Worlds to ensure that players and guests at Worlds could enjoy the weekend without worry or fear.
A special thanks goes to Pokemon, Boston Police Department, security officers at the Hynes Convention Center and Pokemon fans for coming together in this situation. It is because of these great people that Worlds 2015 could succeed and be enjoyed by Pokemon fans from all over the world.