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

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — An online gaming dispute made its way to 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 burglary with a mask, according to Nassau County court records. He was arrested early Sunday morning.

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

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

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

Kang went to the victim's Fernandina Beach home, which was unlocked, around 2 a.m. Sunday, authorities said. The victim was walking out of his bedroom when he was confronted by Kang, who hit him on the head with the hammer, officials said. The two struggled as the victim called for help. His stepfather responded and helped to restrain Kang until police arrived.

The victim suffered several head wounds that were not considered life-threatening, officials said. He received staples at the hospital.

Once in custody, Kang told investigators that the victim is a “bad person online,” officials said. He also asked deputies how much jail time people got for breaking and entering and assault.

“I would say Mr. Kang, it's going to be a long time before you play video games again," Leeper said.

Online court records didn’t list an attorney for Kang. He was being held without bond.

The Associated Press