New Jersey man flies to Florida to attack another player over online gaming dispute, agents say

New Jersey man flies to Florida to attack another player over online gaming dispute, agents say

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — An online gaming dispute spilled over into the real world when a New Jersey man flew to Florida to attack another player with a hammer, authorities said.

Edward Kang, 20, is charged with attempted second-degree murder and armed robbery with a mask, according to Nassau County court records. He was arrested early Sunday morning.

“I just want you to know that this is strange,” Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said during a news conference Monday. “Some things you just can’t make up.”

Kang and the victim, another young man about the same age as Kang, had never met in real life, but both played ArcheAge, a medieval fantasy massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Leeper said. The game’s publisher announced in April that it would shut down servers in Europe and North America on June 27, citing a decline in the number of active players.

Kang flew from Newark, New Jersey, to Jacksonville, Florida, last Thursday after telling his mother he was going to visit a friend he had met while playing a video game, authorities said. Officials did not say how Kang knew where the victim lives. Upon arrival, Kang took an Uber to a hotel in Fernandina Beach, about 35 miles north of Jacksonville, and then purchased a hammer at a local hardware store, deputies said.

Kang went to the victim’s home in Fernandina Beach, which was unlocked, around 2 a.m. Sunday, authorities said. The victim was leaving his room when he was confronted by Kang, who hit him in the head with the hammer, authorities said. The two struggled while the victim called for help. His stepfather responded and helped restrain Kang until police arrived.

The victim suffered several head injuries that were not considered life-threatening, authorities said. She received staples at the hospital.

Once in custody, Kang told investigators that the victim is a “bad person online,” authorities said. He also asked officers how much jail time people received for home invasion and assault.

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

Online court records did not list an attorney for Kang. He was being held without bail.