HUNTINGTON, N.Y. – Police on Long Island have arrested an adult man for threatening to shoot an 11-year-old boy after losing in the popular video game Fortnite.
Michael Aliperti, 45, was arrested Tuesday morning and charged with aggravated harassment and acting in a manner to injure a child.
Investigators said Aliperti was playing Fortnite on Xbox One on Monday night when he lost against the boy. Aliperti then sent threatening messages through text and voice chat, according to police, saying he would cause the boy harm.
Police said in a press release that the man threatened to shoot the child, possibly at his school. This led to an increased police presence Tuesday at the Kings Park Central school where the alleged victim attends, Newsday reports.
“We took this as a school threat,” said Stuart Cameron of the Suffolk County Police Department. “That was done out of an abundance of caution.”
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) September 19, 2018
"Many of our children (mine included) engage in gaming on the internet. The newest craze is over the game Fortnite," Kings Park Superintendent Timonthy Eagan wrote on the district's website following the threat. "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."
Fortnite is a popular battle-royale style video game that boasts 125 million players worldwide, according to the Associated Press. The Epic Games title is free and available to download on multiple platforms.