It all started when Kevin Norton, 18, and James Stumbo, 27, were invited to participate in the US Masters division of the 2015 Pokemon World Championships, held in Boston this weekend.
On August 19, Stumbo made a post to the Facebook group Mayhem Pokemon Crew. It depicted a pair of guns on the trunk of his car and the post read, “Kevin Norton and I are ready for Worlds Boston here we come!!!”
Facebook user Joey Faux wrote, "Good luck!”
Norton responded, “With killing the competition?”
Faux replied, “Haha yes.”
Norton and Stumbo then drove from Iowa to Boston.
The Pokemon community is pretty tight knit, and several people saw the post and alerted the authorities. On Thursday, August 20, the duo arrived at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, where the tournament was to be held. Stumbo attempted to enter the building first, and security detained him. As he was being led out, Norton got made trying to enter the building and he was detained. Security contacted the police, informing them of the threats on social media. Norton and Stumbo were slapped with "No Trespassing" orders and the fuzz took over from there.
During questioning, Stumbo told police that his post about "killing the competition" was taken out of context, it was just a joke. Norton, however, told the police where the car was parked (a garage several blocks from the convention center) and some of its contents -- a 12-gauge Remington shotgun Norton claimed was his and a DPMS Mdoel AR-15 assault rifle he said was Stumbo's. Neither of them produced permits for the weapons.
The duo was released as the police scrambled for an emergency search warrant. They got it, and on Friday, police searched the car. Inside, they found the shotgun, the AR-15, a hunting knife, and 250 rounds of ammunition. Stumbo and Norton were staying at a motel in Saugus, and on Saturday, police arrested them. The duo is scheduled to be arraigned today.
I am so glad I don't have kids. I don't know how I'd protect them from this world. If there was anyplace you wouldn't think you had to watch your back and be ready for a fight, it would be at this gathering of fans from around the world, based on one of the most family-friendly, happy series ever created.
I don't know what they were thinking. They could just be saying it was a joke to get out of trouble. Or maybe they didn't see anything wrong with traveling across state lines with weapons without permits.
But at least we are debating their intent instead of mourning what they did.