GRAY, LA — A 15-year-old student has been arrested after uploading a YouTube video of gameplay from a phone application. Authorities said his video “terrorized and interfered with operation of his school” and charged him with offenses that could give him a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted.
The boy, who has not been named, was a student at H.L. Bourgeois High school. He had downloaded a phone application called “The Real Strike” which utilizes the camera on a smart phone and superimposes a picture of a gun over the live-feed video. Whatever the camera phone points towards shows up on the screen with a graphic of a gun pointed towards it. The user can then use the app to simulate a mock shootout, and can record and share the results.
The student used his phone at school to record some of his classmates, allegedly making a video of a mock shootout at school. He took his phone home and uploaded the video to YouTube. Worried parents reported him to the police and he was arrested. He was charged with “terrorizing and interference with the operation of a school,” according to WGNO.
A video app that anyone can download for $2.99 and use in under 5 minutes, that harmed no one, can now be considered terrorism.
“You can’t ignore it,” says Major Malcolm Wolfe of the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office. “We don’t know at what time that game becomes reality.”
According to Wolfe, “He said it was a result of him being frustrated and tired of being bullied. He said that he had no intentions of hurting anybody. We have to take all threats seriously and we have no way of knowing that without investigating and getting to the bottom of it.”
Terrorizing in Louisiana (RS 14:40.1) is punishable by a maximum of 15 years in prison, with or without hard labor, and up to $15,000 in fines. Unlawful disruption of the operation of a school (RS 14:40.6) carries a minimum sentence of 1 year in prison and a maximum of 5. A maximum combined sentence, if convicted, would be 20 years in prison.
The video has been taken down so nobody else will be terrorized, and the school will no longer be disrupted from operation.
The boy has no access to firearms, according to parents. He has been jailed at the Terrebonne Parish Juvenile Detention center, according to Houma Today.
Here is an application review of “The Real Strike.” Browsing YouTube will produce other videos of the same app being used to point at real people.