Xbox Gamer Arrested for String of New Jersey School Hoax Threats

An online gamer has been arrested after his participation in an online group sent bomb hoaxes to multiple schools in the New Jersey and surrounding areas.
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A gamer that’s responsible for reporting multiple fake terrorist threats at schools in New Jersey and surrounding states has been arrested.

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Matthew Tollis, a 21-year-old Xbox gamer out of Wethersfield, Connecticut, is facing multiple charges, including: contributing to a bomb threat hoax, attempting to hurt people, and attempting to destroy buildings.

According to the Daily Record, Tollis was a member of an online group that did these activities. They used Skype to communicate the hoaxes. Allegedly, Tollis participated because he was bullied online after other gamers would send unpaid pizzas to his house.

Tollis was a member of a group primarily consisting of Microsoft Xbox gamers who referred to themselves as TCOD, or “TeAM CrucifiX or Die.” The group used the Internet communication service Skype to make hoax threats involving bombs, hostage taking, firearms and mass murder, they said.

Tollis told authorities he got involved with the gaming ring because it protected him from online bullying and the unsolicited delivery of pizzas that he had been subjected to, according to an affidavit filed by an unnamed FBI agent.

What the bomb hoaxes involved

It doesn’t register to these gamers that are involved in placing bomb threats how dangerous the situation is when a SWAT team comes by to clear the area. Thousands of students and faculty have to evacuate, believing they have to flee the scene for their lives. Then there’s the work that those agents have to do securing the area, not to mention the costs and resources that are used in the process, and then they find that it was just a hoax all along.

Currently, the FBI is working with the United Kingdom to find the other members of the group, who are believed to reside there.

It’s sad that a gamer had to resort to this activity to avoid getting bullied. There needs to be more of an effort to help those that are getting harassed online; a place where they can go to and get relief. How do you think we can stop online bullying in video games?

Image source: Bullies Keep Out

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Brian Spaen
Freelance video game and sports writer. I'm the guy who picks Saints Row over Grand Theft Auto. Mario is my idol.