A “PlayStation predator” was picked up by the police for allegedly kidnapping a 14-year-old boy after meeting him on a gaming network online.
Tony McLeod went all the way to Los Angeles to lure the teenager onto a flight to Tampa. The two started talking as they played games together on the PlayStation network.
The 36-year-old allegedly sent the boy explicit photos and text messages. His parents warned him to stay away from their son, but he didn’t listen.
“This case originally came to our attention because of the family monitoring the young man’s phone, and even then this happened, which just goes as a warning that you cannot monitor your children close enough when it comes to the internet,” an Escondido Police Department officer said.
The parents became concerned when their son didn’t come home from school on Monday. Luckily, the cops were able to track McLeod’s phone and found out he boarded a flight to Tampa.
Police arrested McLeod when he landed in Tampa and charged him with kidnapping, interfering with custody, traveling to meet a minor and transmission of harmful material to a minor.
Tampa PD’s Major Brian Dugan referred to McLeod as a “very sophisticated predator.”
“I think when you go to a different state and you bring a 14-year-old boy back — and you’re an adult and the cops are waiting for you on the runway … I think the gig is up,” he said.
Neighbors were not sure what to think when they saw detectives searching McLeod’s condo for evidence. They said, “He seemed like a nice guy. It’s messed up; people are messed up.”
What kind of punishment do you think McLeod should receive if he is found guilty? Do you think the 14-year-old boy’s parents should have monitored his internet use more closely?