45-year-old man threatens to shoot 11-year-old boy at his school after losing to him in an online game
Michael Aliperti lost to the unnamed boy in a game of Fortnite on Xbox One and subsequently sent him texts and online voice messages threatening to come to his school and shoot him
A 45-year-old Long Island man has been apprehended by the authorities after he allegedly threatened to shoot an 11-year-old boy after losing to him in an online game. Michael Aliperti lost to the unidentified Kings Park boy in a game of Fortnite on Xbox One and subsequently sent him threatening texts and online voice messages, going so far as threatening to visit him at school and shoot him.
According to Fox News, Aliperti was arrested by the police at his Huntington home at around 1:40 am on Tuesday. While the authorities did not find any guns at the home, police chief Stuart Cameron reported that they did find a plastic pellet gun.
Suffolk County Police arrested Michael Aliperti, 45, of Huntington, after he threatened to shoot an 11-year-old child following a video game loss. pic.twitter.com/oCkBl3D77I— Suffolk County PD (@SCPDHq) 19 September 2018
Speaking about the incident, Cameron said, "We took this as a school threat. That was done out of an abundance of caution." Following the threats, an increased police presence was ordered at the 11-year-old's school and an order of protection has been issued for the boy.
Aliperti had been playing Fortnite with the boy for the past several months after they were introduced to one another through other players. After the 45-year-old threatened the boy, the child's family reported the incident to the Fourth Precinct following which he was taken into custody.
The Suffolk County Police Department stated that Aliperti has been charged with second-degree aggravated harassment and acting in a manner to injure a child. The 45-year-old was later arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip and has pleaded not guilty to his charges.
His attorney, Andrew Karpf, is said to be seeking the transcripts of the threats his client issued against the 11-year-old and said that using such language was common in the gaming community. Newsday quoted him as having said, "Salty language is a two-way street and it's normal behavior in the gaming community." He added that Aliperti was currently undergoing a "bitter divorce."
Timothy Eagen, the Superintendent of Schools at the Kings Park Central School District, issued a letter addressing his concern over the most recent craze in online gaming. He wrote, "Many of our children (mine included) engage in gaming on the internet. The newest craze is over the game Fortnite. We should all use this incident as an important reminder that children should not be gaming with individuals that they do not know. If you have school-age children that game online, kindly consider speaking to them about the importance of this later today."
Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice Andrew Crecca set Aliperti's bail at $10,000 bond or $2,500 cash. The 45-year-old is scheduled to return to court for a hearing on October 4.