On July 12th, a 28 year old man named Stephen Cebula has been arrested for sending death threats to Blizzard and fellow Heroes of the Storm players over the internet. According to the Department of Justice, the Californian man has been indicted.
On July 3rd, Heroes of the Storm players brought Cebula’s messages from the game’s chat feature to Blizzard’s attention. In addition to threats of rape towards children of his opponents, the messages included statements such as “I will bomb the new york twin towers [sic],” “Go back to cotton picking” and “You make me want to shoot up an elementary school.” As a result of these messages, Blizzard took action and relinquished Cebula of his chat privileges. Cebula responded by messaging Blizzard over Facebook. The following is one of the two messages Cebula sent to Blizzard:
Careful Blizzard … I live in California and your headquarters is here in California … You keep silencing me in Heroes of the Storm and I may or may not pay you a visit with an AK 47 amongst some other ‘fun’ tools.
Prosecutors also claim that Cebula wrote: “You keep silencing people in heroes of the storm and someone who may live in California might be inclined to ‘cause a disturbance’ at your headquarters in California with an AK47 and a few other ‘opportunistic tools’ … It would be a shame to [anger] the wrong person. Do you not agree blizzard?” Cebula told federal investigators that he sent those threats to Blizzard because he wanted“to scare” them and “to give them a sinking feeling that they should be worried.”
According to court documents, Cebula has a history of threatening others with harm. As a minor, Cebula was charged with threatening a school staff member. And in 2015, the man was placed on an involuntary psychiatric hold by the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department after expressing his plan to kill someone at a local park to deputies .
United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert says that Cebula is currently is custody. He is being held without bail due to what the state deems ‘significant’ mental health issues and sucidal and homicidal ideas. Cebula is faced with a $250,000 fine and five years of jail time and is set to plead his case in court on July 26.
The thirty-three page court documents can be found on this link. Be advised; strong graphic language and imagery that is most definitely not safe for work.