New Jersey man allegedly flew to Florida to attack fellow gamer: Sheriff

A New Jersey man faces an attempted murder charge after allegedly flying to Florida and attacking a fellow gamer with a hammer over an online dispute, authorities said.

The two had never met in-person before the suspect showed up at the victim's home in Fernandina Beach over the weekend "apparently to confront the victim," Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said during a press briefing on Monday announcing charges in the case.

The incident is believed to have originated from an "online altercation," Leeper said, calling the case "a weird one."

PHOTO: Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper holds a photo during a press briefing of a hammer he says was used in an assault, June 24, 2024. (WJXX)
PHOTO: Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper holds a photo during a press briefing of a hammer he says was used in an assault, June 24, 2024. (WJXX)

The suspect, Edward Kang, 20, allegedly gained entry into the victim's home through an unlocked door and -- wearing all-black clothes, gloves and a mask -- attacked him with a hammer when the victim got up from gaming to use the bathroom late Saturday or early Sunday, according to Leeper.

The victim, who is believed to be around the same age as Kang, was able to wrestle his assailant to the ground, Leeper said. He and his stepfather, who was woken up by screams for help, were able to disarm the suspect and restrain him until deputies arrived, Leeper said.

MORE: David DePape found guilty in state trial over Paul Pelosi attack

"Upon arrival, they discovered a significant amount of blood in the entryway of the home and the victim's bedroom," Leeper said.

The victim sustained "severe" head wounds during the assault, the sheriff said. The victim has since been released from a hospital, he said.

Kang was booked into the Nassau County Jail on Sunday and charged with attempted second-degree murder and armed burglary. It is unclear if he has an attorney.

PHOTO: The booking photo for Edward Kang. (Nassau County Sheriff's Office)
PHOTO: The booking photo for Edward Kang. (Nassau County Sheriff's Office)

Leeper said the investigation is ongoing and charges may be upgraded.

When asked about a motive in the assault, Kang allegedly told deputies that the victim is a "bad person online," Leeper said. He also allegedly asked how much jail time you receive for breaking and entering and assault, according to Leeper.

"I would say, Mr. Kang, it will be a long time before you play video games," Leeper said.

MORE: Family of black belts saves woman from alleged sexual assault

The victim and suspect allegedly knew each other from the online video game ArcheAge, according to Leeper. The Korean massively multiplayer online role-playing game will no longer be accessible in the United States as of Thursday, its publisher announced in April, citing the "declining number of active players."

Kang reportedly told family he was going to meet a friend he met years ago through an online video game, Leeper said. He flew from Newark, New Jersey, to Jacksonville, Florida, and arrived at a hotel near the victim's home early Friday morning, according to Leeper. He allegedly purchased a hammer and flashlight at a hardware store upon landing in Florida, with receipts found in his hotel room, Leeper said.

"This incident serves as a stark reminder of the potential real-world consequences of online interaction," Leeper said. "We urge the public to exercise caution, report any suspicious online behavior to the authorities and always ensure that their homes are securely locked."

New Jersey man allegedly flew to Florida to attack fellow gamer: Sheriff originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

Advertisement