Man faces 5 years for death threats sent to Blizzard, players

Man faces 5 years for death threats sent to Blizzard, players

By Allegra Frank | Polygon

A California man who made graphic, violent threats to harm employees of Blizzard Entertainment and fellow Heroes of the Storm players has been indicted, according to the Department of Justice.

Sacramento native Stephen Cebula, 28, was arrested on July 12 on a charge of making threats to injure employees and remains in custody, according to acting United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert. Cebula faces up to five years of jail time and a $250,000 fine.

The investigation kicked off on July 3, when Heroes of the Storm players contacted Blizzard about disturbing messages they had received through the game’s chat feature from another player, according to court documents retrieved by Polygon. The messages —which are of a graphic nature — included “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;” Cebula also threatened to rape and kill the children of his opponents.

Blizzard responded by stripping Cebula’s chat privileges, court documents state. Cebula then took to Facebook, sending the company two separate messages that are included in the case files. His posts warned Blizzard to be careful, writing that if the company “keep silencing me in Heroes of the Storm and I may or may not pay you a visit with an AK47 amongst some other ‘fun’ tools.”

Blizzard provided evidence to the Federal Bureau of Investigation on July 7, according to the documents. Police took Cebula into custody more than a week later, on July 12, following an FBI investigation. Police found social media accounts belonging to Cebula, including a Facebook page under the name “tedbundyismygod1” that detailed his fascination with serial killers.

When taken in for questioning, Cebula told FBI agents that his intention was to “scare those whom he had threatened,” the case files state. He also admitted to having “fantasized about oral sex and sexual intercourse with his five-year-old niece.”

This is not Cebula’s first run-in with the law. In March 2015, he was placed on an involuntary psychiatric hold by the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department after telling deputies of his intention kill someone at a local park, according to the court documents. As a minor, he was also charged with threatening a school staff member.

Cebula is set to plead his case in court on July 26. He’s currently being held without bail due to what the state calls ‘significant’ mental health issues and sucidal and homicidal ideation.

Blizzard Entertainment has yet to comment on the matter, but we’ve reached out and will update with more when we have it. Read through the court documents below, but be warned that they contain graphic language and imagery that may not be safe for work (FOUND IN SOURCE LINKED BELOW).




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