Suffolk County Police arrested a Huntington man earlier today for allegedly threatening to shoot a child following his loss to the boy during a video game.
The 4th Precinct Crime Section officers initiated an investigation after an 11-year-old Kings Park boy reported receiving threatening text messages and online voice messages via Xbox from a man he recently beat during a game of Fortnite. In the messages, which were sent at approximately 9 p.m. Sept. 17, the man allegedly threatened to shoot the child, possibly at his school, R.J.O. Intermediate School, according to police.
Police said they arrested Michael Aliperti, 45, at his home at approximately 1:40 a.m. and charged him with second-degree aggravated harassment and acting in a manner to injure a child.
Timothy Eagen, superintendent of Kings Park schools, said the district was notified by Suffolk County police of the incident prior to the start of classes Tuesday morning, but were told “no specific threat had been made towards the school.”
“I know we are all thankful that SCPD acted as swiftly as they did, and the adult was taken into custody promptly,” Eagen said in a Sept. 18 letter to school district residents. “This is certainly evidence of a commitment to school safety.”
The superintendent encouraged Kings Park parents to use this incident to speak with their children about the dangers of online gaming and how children should not be playing video games with people they don’t know.
Aliperti was scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 18 at 1st District Court in Central Islip. The outcome of his arraignment was not available as of 3 p.m. Tuesday.
Eagen’s full letter to Kings Park school district parents can be read online here.
This post was updated to include quotes from Eagen’s letter Sept. 18.