Crime spree participants use the ol’ GTA defense… again

These kinds of stories happen so often it’s almost becoming comical. Not for the crimes they committed, but because authorities continue to believe these actions are actually caused by one videogame. The latest emulated videogame “crime spree” started when a group of teenagers robbed a pedestrian outside a supermarket in New Hyde Park. The teens then decided to take up arms in the form of baseball bats and a crowbar (damn you, Gordon Freeman!) and began to rob one motorist of her cigarettes, and attacked a van passing by.

Without looking deeper into the lives of these six teenagers, a detective for the Nassau County police came to one conclusion; “It was determined that they were emulating the character in that Grand Theft Auto game, going on a crime spree using weapons and tactics inspired by the controversial video game,” said Det. Sgt. Anthony Repalone. This is based on the confessions of the boys themselves according to the detective.

Allegedly there were only three boys who started this late night rampage. After robbing a man outside the supermarket, they were joined by three other boys who apparently also had a taste for acting out videogame violence. Somehow they all decided to recreate Grand Theft Auto, but met up at different times.

All the boys are being charged as adults, but I don’t think this GTA reasoning is going to stick. My advice would be to examine their home and school lives – I’m almost certain past behavior problems will turn up that would make this case less about the violent effect of videogames, and more about how a child’s home life influnences their growth and behavior.