Call of Duty dispute escalates into bomb, hostage hoax
An argument between two Metro Vancouver teens in a Call of Duty game ended with a swarm of police descending on one player’s Langley home.
The 17-year-old boy from Langley was engaged in battle in the popular video game Call of Duty:Ghosts, where players assume the role of a U.S. Special Forces commando.
RCMP believe a 19-year-old man who he was playing against called police in Ontario with a fake bomb threat.
“We got our first call from Peel regional police, who took a call from an individual suggesting that there were bombs and hostages at a residence in the Aldergrove area,” said Cpl. Holly Marks.
Five cops rushed to the Langley teen’s house – only to find a surprised family.
The family involved declined an on-camera interview with CTV News because they didn’t want to be targeted further by the 19 year old, but the teen’s father said it was shocking to be woken up in the middle of the night by cops looking for hostages and yelling his son’s name.
After they determined the bomb and hostage threats were a hoax, police then identified down the 19-year-old – who calls himself “Yolandas” online – suspected of calling police to the residence. They believe the man is likely living in Vancouver.
The suspect also told police he had hacked Langley RCMP’s website, which went offline for a period of time.
“We can’t say for certain that it’s Yolandas, and we can’t say for certain that that was the reason it went down,” Marks said. “It could’ve been coincidental, not very likely I’m thinking.”
Officials say the man is known to them, and believe he’s performed similar 911 hoaxes before. No arrests have been made.
Police are now trying to find where the man lives so they can talk to him.
A crime researcher told CTV News that gamers should use mainstream servers when playing games like Call of Duty to avoid getting into confrontations with hackers, and urged players never to give away information about their real lives online.
Brent Stafford also said police should arrest the hacker and perform a psychiatric evaluation to make sure he won’t escalate into more violent behaviour.
“It’s antisocial behaviour, he’s troubled,” he said. “The desensitization to violent gaming, the addiction that can happen in terms of the immersion into the gaming can be a problem.”
The young man’s father said he won’t be allowing any more multiplayer games in his home, because he’s cutting off the internet.