Sheriff: Man from New Jersey allegedly flew to Florida to attack teammates
Sheriff: Man from New Jersey allegedly flew to Florida to attack teammates

(NEW YORK) — A New Jersey man faces attempted murder charges after he allegedly flew to Florida and attacked another gamer with a hammer over an online dispute, authorities said.

The two had never met in person before the suspect showed up at the victim’s Fernandina Beach home over the weekend “apparently to confront the victim,” Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said during a news conference Monday announcing the charges in the case.

The incident was probably the result of an “online dispute,” Leeper said, calling the case “strange.”

The suspect, 20-year-old Edward Kang, allegedly gained entry to the victim’s home through an unlocked door and attacked him – dressed all in black, with gloves and a mask – with a hammer when the victim got up from playing to go to the bathroom late Saturday or early Sunday, Leeper said.

The victim, who is believed to be about the same age as Kang, was able to wrestle his attacker to the ground, Leeper said. He and his stepfather, who was awakened by cries for help, were able to disarm the suspect and detain him until officers arrived, Leeper said.

“Upon arrival, they discovered a significant amount of blood in the entryway of the home and in the victim’s bedroom,” Leeper said.

The victim suffered “serious” head injuries in the attack, the sheriff said. The victim has since been released from the hospital, he said.

Kang was booked into the Nassau County Jail on Sunday and charged with attempted second-degree murder and armed burglary. It is unclear if he has an attorney.

Leeper said the investigation is ongoing and charges could be upgraded.

When asked about a motive for the robbery, Kang allegedly told officers the victim was a “bad person on the internet,” Leeper said. He also allegedly asked how long one would spend in prison for burglary and assault, Leeper said.

“I would say, Mr. Kang, it will be a long time before you play video games,” Leeper said.

According to Leeper, the victim and suspect allegedly knew each other from the online video game ArcheAge. The Korean massively multiplayer online role-playing game will no longer be available in the US starting Thursday, the publisher announced in April, citing the “declining number of active players.”

Kang allegedly told his family he wanted to meet a friend he met years ago through an online video game, Leeper said. He flew from Newark, New Jersey, to Jacksonville, Florida, and arrived at a hotel near the victim’s home early Friday morning, Leeper said. After landing in Florida, he allegedly bought a hammer and a flashlight at a hardware store. He found the receipts for those in his hotel room, Leeper said.

“This incident is a stark reminder of the potential real-world consequences of online interactions,” Leeper said. “We urge the public to exercise caution, report suspicious online behavior to authorities, and always ensure their homes are securely locked.”

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By Seren