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DA: Iowa Pokemon guys made specific threats to kill specific people

A Boston Municipal Court judge this morning ordered James Stumbo, 27, and Kevin Norton, 18, held without bail pending a Sept. 1 "dangerousness" hearing to determine whether they should be held without bail even longer on charges of illegal weapons and ammunition possession.

The ruling came at a hearing at which an assistant Suffolk County District Attorney said there was far more evidence of their danger to participants in a world Pokemon championship at the Hynes than the weapons-on-trunk Facebook page that had spread through social media yesterday.

In postings on Facebook, the two made references to Columbine, vowed "another Boston Massacre" and threatened "My AR 15 says you lose," Assistant DA Joseph Janezic said. When Norton was kicked out of particular Pokemon forum and the moderator refused to let him back in, he allegedly replied, "OK, that's fine, I will just shoot you on Friday."

The two showed up at the Pokemon competition at the Hynes on Thursday - to which they had been invited - but were barred by Hynes security and Boston Police, who had been alerted to the postings. Police seized their car, then arrested them Friday after they obtained a search warrant for it and found a 12-gauge Remington shotgun, a DPM5 Model AR-15 rifle with a high-capacity feeding device attached, 244 shotgun rounds and 40 AR-15 rounds.

Stumbo's attorney said police had no probable cause to arrest his client. He said the car was Norton's and that neither the car nor the weapons and ammunition were in his control. He said Stumbo should not be held without bail in part because he has no record, in part because he could have fled after police let him go on Thursday, but didn't.

Norton's lawyer, appointed by the court during the hearing, said his client had no record.

Neither man spoke during the hearing. Both still wore the clothes they were arrested in - Stumbo, a grayish T shirt and black basketball shorts with red striping, Norton in a sort of camo T shirt and black shorts.

Innocent, etc.

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Comments

Who's going to feed their tarantula and/or pet snake while they're in the clink? You'd have to think their girlfriends are probably too embarrassed to stay with them after this little stunt.

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Girlfriends? Surely you jest.

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These guys are Pokemon champions. Ladies love winners. These bros probably smash so much puss.

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Here's a fun exercise. Let's say that you:

  1. Threatened people
  2. Did it publicly, on social media
  3. Demonstrated that you have the weapons to carry out your threats
  4. Named the event, place and time that you were going to carry out your threats, and
  5. Were greeted at the door of said event by event security and by the police, who
  6. Seized your vehicle -- yes, that's right, the one containing the weapons -- but let you go

...where would you go next?

a) Back to Iowa to hide in Mom's basement
b) Anywhere that doesn't have an extradition treaty with the US
c) Mars
d) Saugus

It's a toughie, I have to admit.

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I'm pretty sure Saugus doesn't have an extradition treaty with the U.S. There are still a number of prisoners trapped in the kitchens of the 'Loon who will never see the light of day.
(mmmm....pupu platter....)

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The word "terrorist" is still inexplicably absent.

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Shit AGAIN!

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Did I hurt your feelings?

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Just trolling! Obviously you're the hypersensitive one~

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Feelings terrorism?

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When you name a target who you have a beef with and then coordinate to want to kill that target, that's not terrorism. It's premeditation to murder.

Terrorism is an attempt to effect a change in a group through acts that induce terror in the group. If someone starts killing Republicans and putting out messages that the killing will continue until Trump is no longer the poll leader, then that's terrorism. If someone plots to kill Trump so he can't be the poll leader, that's not terrorism.

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I know why it wasn't used. Not the reason you suggest, though.

I don't see why you (and others) think terrorism has to intend to "effect a change" - it just has to deliberately inspire terror. Planning on murdering people in a public space fits that criteria. Political purpose unnecessary.

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"Terror", when used in this kind of technical, criminal, legal context, isn't "feeling scared". That's the colloquial definition. Terrorism is, as mentioned, something done to intimidate or coerce.

Intimidate: frighten or overawe (someone), especially in order to make them do what one wants.

Coerce: persuade (an unwilling person) to do something by using force or threats.

What did the Pokémen want the Poképopulation "to do", which this action would lead to? What actions did they hope to force the attendees to do? What political statement were they making?

The reason they're not being called terrorists is because they were not engaging in terrorism.

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There is this spate of people thinking "especially" means "exclusively".

I'm guessing you don't think threatening someone with violence to reinstate you on an internet forum is an attempt "frighten or overawe (someone), especially in order to make them do what one wants." Is it because critical thinking skills are hard?

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Threatening to harm a person is not terrorism. A gang member saying "stay away from this block or get shot" is not terrorism. A bookie saying "pay up or I'll break your knees" is not terrorism.

By your definition, virtually all crime is terrorism. As someone else said, that's a definition rendered meaningless by being overly-broad.

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By your definition, virtually all crime is terrorism

Only if you're being deliberately obtuse.

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I commented above on this--your definition of terrorism would include every angry asshole who's ever threatened anyone with violence. It's really simple and most folks here seem to get it. You need to spend a few minutes with a dictionary, that's all.

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Before a pithy dismissal, do me a favor and try to actually think through the logic of your argument. If any violent act that results in terrorizing people is terrorism, surely every single homicide must be terrorism (except on Planet Vulcan, where the population feels no emotional response)?

Using your logic, if you get mugged at knifepoint for your wallet and cellphone in DTX, and as a result you yourself are a little uncomfortable walking around there, or change your behavior to avoid it at night, or other people read the story and feel unsafe and do the same, that's a terrorist mugging?

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18 U.S.C. § 2331(5) seems to disagree with you. You know, the actual law defining terrorism. It says:

(5) the term "domestic terrorism" means activities that—
(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
(B) appear to be intended—
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

But, y'know, random Internet guy thinks the political part of this definition is "unnecessary" so I guess the government should just charge them with terrorism.

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Terrible? Yes. Very.

But terrorism? Not by my reading of https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/terrorism/terrorism-definition

"Domestic terrorism" means activities with the following three characteristics, unless we think Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum were trying to intimidate/coerce the entire Pokemon population, or get the US Gov't to bend to Pokeman Champion demands.

- Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;
- Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination. or kidnapping; and
- Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.

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Gunning down people in public doesn't "intimidate a civilian population"? Good to know.

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Gunning down people in public doesn't "intimidate a civilian population"? Good to know.

Well, does it intimidate you? In what way? If you went to Pokemon conventions, would you stop going because of this near-incident? Or if you were scheduled to attend a conference at the Hynes next week, would this action make you not go? Or would it make you say, "Gee, Boston, dangerous place full of shit blowin' up, I better not go"?

James Holmes wasn't a "terrorist", he was a mass murderer. People didn't stop going to cinemas or watching superhero movies after his crazy act; they didn't think twice about it. Did you?

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Well, does it intimidate you? In what way? If you went to Pokemon conventions, would you stop going because of this near-incident? Or if you were scheduled to attend a conference at the Hynes next week, would this action make you not go? Or would it make you say, "Gee, Boston, dangerous place full of shit blowin' up, I better not go"?

If I were a Pokemon player and this rampage had actually gone down, I believe I would have several of these reactions.

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If I were a Pokemon player and this rampage had actually gone down, I believe I would have several of these reactions.

Really? The two guys who made the threats are locked up with no bail, and if they had managed to go on a rampage, they almost certainly would be dead or in prison at the end of it. Would you stop going to Pokemon conventions/stay away from a convention at the Hynes/stay away from Boston altogether, because you believe there is still some kind of threat? I didn't see any indication of a threat from other sources, did I miss something?

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What would Brock do? Misty? OR ASH! In the face of overwhelming odds, in the face of danger or certain death, these champions would never be coerced!

(Or, at least, they wouldn't hesitate to send Pikachu or Squirtle out to get the snot beaten out of them, but same idea)

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They're imbeciles.

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The scary thing is that I think all that Facebook talk was just macho gamer-bluster. And these guys probably always drive around with all that firepower in their car because it makes them feel like real men, even though they really don't plan to use it.

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The scary thing is that I think all that Facebook talk was just macho gamer-bluster

Proving why video games and Facebook are pointless endeavors that have provided no meaningful benefit to society.

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for satisfying moments of curiosity when wondering what ever happened to X. Thus, it saves some trouble.

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It just proves that it's a hobby (gaming, that is). And hobbies are good for people.

Not everyone who plays games, table top or electronic feel the need to carry firepower around with them.

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skills that can be used in other real life endeavors. Gaming does not.

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Cycling, whats your point.

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differently.

Increased hand eye coordination. Socialization with friends over the headsets. Coordination in handling varying scenarios. And satisfaction in solving puzzles. To name a few. And yes, you can guess I game. I also get out and socialize IRL. And I would bet I'm older than you realize.

Tabletop gaming has come a long way from Life and Monopoly. There are games where it's all of those at the table playing against the game such as Forbidden Island. There are games that have you puzzle out paths and work to stay on the board such as Tsuro of the Seas (and the game itself is lovely artwork). And then there are just plain silly games such as Flux or Exploding Kittens which just make you laugh with your friends.

All of these are skills which can be used elsewhere. I know you disagree, so we should probably leave the discussion at this point.

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...by way of Route 20, or Route 23, or some other route that does not have a large sign announcing that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts almost certainly has stricter gun laws than wherever you come from, and no, we're not kidding.

I'm not a firearms owner, but if I were, I can't imagine transporting my firearms anywhere without knowing the local laws very well. But even if you're not that type, it's kind of hard to miss if you arrive by way of the Mass Pike.

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was finally removed shortly after the MassDOT "merger" in 2009. The other gun law signs were removed in the early 1990s after Weld took office.

Of course, I always thought it silly that the first message drivers saw entering this state was akin to the "Hey Pardner - You Must Check Your Six Gun At The Bar" rule of the old west.

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A "constitution free zone" sign is not what tourists like to see when they drive into the home state of the America Revolution.

Bill Weld being a Libertarian probably took issue with the signs.

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Why do you think it's a bad idea to let people entering the state know, loud and clear, that we play by different rules than they do? If they're bound and determined to haul around a lot of firearms, they'll decide to go elsewhere, and everyone's happy. Are you worry about the lost dollars of the segment of the population that (in theory) would see the sign and have a foot-stomping principled hissy fit about it and go somewhere else?

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What you have here posited as a binary is, in point of fact, not.

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...but irrelevant. They're not terrorists.

Can you explain again what you think the definition of "terrorist" is, and why you think these two fit it? Others have already explained that the mere threat of violence doesn't make someone a terrorist. So how do you think they qualify?

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A person whose actions intend to inspire terror. I hope we can agree gunning down people in a public space counts.

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There is a reason we have separate terms for "mass murder" "spree murder" and "terrorism". Yes, there is often overlap, but these categories are not automatically all-inclusive.

Specific to this case; did they have any intention on scaring anyone, or simply to murder everyone. Not sure the evidence is in on that question yet...

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.

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I've got lots of creative and inventive words for these two, but most of them are not appropriate for a family blog. ;)

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In postings on Facebook, the two made references to Columbine, vowed "another Boston Massacre" and threatened "My AR 15 says you lose," Assistant DA Joseph Janezic said. When Norton was kicked out of particular Pokemon forum and the moderator refused to let him back in, he allegedly replied, "OK, that's fine, I will just shoot you on Friday."

Those aren't attempts to scare or terrorize anyone?

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I get the feeling that "Mostly Harmless" has ulterior motives for the terrorist talk. I suspect you're trying to make the point that born-and-bread Americans, especially NRA members, can be "terrorists", just like Muslim Jihadis.

In that case, your point is correct. But tweedle-dee/dum of Iowa Pokemon fame aren't the examples you're looking for.

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This is why we can't have words mean anything, It's the reverse euphemism treadmill, in which people constantly insist that we apply the worst words we have to everything, and make those words mean nothing.

It's not been called terrorism because it's not terrorism.

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every time anyone threatens anyone personally with a gun--boss, ex-girlfriend, guy who crushed you in World of Warcraft--we call that terrorism now? I'm really not sure what point you're trying to make--that these morons are getting special treatment?

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Because there doesn't seem to be a political motivation behind these two douchebags' plot...

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Is someone seriously arguing that walking into a crowd shooting isn't intended to terrorize people?

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Walking into a room with guns in this soecific case seems to be meant to scare or kill a Victim, not to terrorize an entire class or society, or effect political change.

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The definition of "terrorize" is not "what a terrorist does".

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But "what a terrorist does" is, by definition, "terrorize". Squares and rectangles, you see.

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...you just proved the point that everyone's been trying to get you to see. Yes, these numbnuts' planned actions would have terrorized people, if only very briefly. No, they are not/were not terrorists. OK?

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Gun-toting psychopaths... Gotta catch 'em all!

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with apologies to Dr. Seuss

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