back to article US mum calls 911 over Grand Theft Auto

A Boston mum whose 14-year-old son refused to stop playing Grand Theft Auto in the early hours called in the cops to put a stop to his late-night gaming. The 911 call came at 2:30 am on Saturday morning, when the desperate parent explained that not only had her offspring resisted a maternal cease-and-desist order, but he also …


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  1. fifi


    I'd have thought pulling the circuit breakers would have been quicker.

    1. David Hicks

      An old-style fuse box would have been better

      Then you could just pull out the fuse for the right circuit.

      Or, you know, try being a parent.

  2. Iain 25


    Couldn't she have done something a little less drastic, like ... ooh I dunno, pull the plug out of the computer? Confiscate the GTA DVD. Or just exercise some general parental discipline?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Parental failure.

    When you have to call somebody else to assert your authority is because you're a failure.

  4. Daniel Harris 1

    Not late...

    2:30am on a Saturday morning isn't really that unusual of a time to be playing a computer game really...

    Although the kid should do as his mum asks really. If I was her I would just have left him to the game and gone to bed...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Which is why...

      should you ever get away from the console for long enough and have children, they will be thick as pigshit working at McDonalds types.

      2.30am for a 14yr old playing games is completely unacceptable behaviour and is massively detrimental to his wellbeing and education.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Naughty naughty

    Doesn't this game carry a Mature/17+ rating in the US...?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    They should have arrested the parent

    Nanny state

    Nuff said, me coat.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd have turned up

    And arrested the mother for buying her 14 year old son an 18 rated game.

  8. Trev 2

    They not got fuse boxes in US?

    Pulling the fuse or switching the circuit breaker for he plugs would seem like a pretty good way to stop them unless it's got a UPS connected up. Bit quicker than calling 911 too.

  9. Stef 4

    Not the first I am sure

    I expect there are many comments awaiting moderation that will ask the same question, but: What is the age limit for that game? The kid was 14. Here in the UK it is an 18 rated game. Does that just apply to purchasing it, or playing it as well (Is it like alcohol, where you can't buy it for an under 18).

    What is the law concerning age ratings on games in the US?

    1. Swarthy

      Ratings in the US

      IANAL, but, from what I understand, ratings for movies, games, etc. on this side of the pond are more suggestions, guidelines for the parents buying the games/movies so they don't *accidently* buy a bloody/naughty game for a tyke. M only means "Intended for adults". Our Lords and Masters still believe that parents are the best source for determining what their kids can handle in the way of entertainment.

      Enough of these instances and they will probably change their minds.

  10. lglethal Silver badge

    Hurray for poor parenting!

    Seriously the cops should send her the bill for the police's time in having to come deal with this and possibly the liability bill for any premises that were robbed during this itme whilst the police had to deal with this rather then doing there actual job. Oh and make her do some sort of parenting course cause she obviously doesnt have a clue how to be a parent!

    In a situation like this its easy to stop the kid playing the computer - take the power cable. That will stop the kid playing pretty damn quickly (and provides a nice defensive weapon in the case of the ADHD brat getting violent). Getting a kid to go to sleep has been a problem for parents for thousands of years, but funnily enough the police arent usually the ones that have to deal with this! Parents need to take responsibility for their own sprog, not leave it up to the rest of society to do it for them!

  11. Anonymous Coward

    So much for 'parenting'

    If I'd refused, as a child, to put down a toy and go to bed the toy in question would have been broken in two and thrown away. Sounds like its mama who needs a few lessons here, not just the delinquent child.

  12. Alan 6

    He's lucky

    Perhaps they should have sent the snow-ball hating Washington cop round - a .38 size hole in the forehead would soon put a stop to his gaming...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What was wrong with pulling out the power plug? And then taking a pair of scissors and cutting the cable in half!

    The police should send her the bill for their time.

  14. Anonymous Coward


    I take it that the Mother will be prosecuted for letting her child play an 18 rated game?

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Pull the plug?

    Rather than calling the cops, which is a little extreme and an indication of the crapness of parenting these days, why not simply pull the plug on the console, the fuse on the ring main, or... take the DVD out of the console and lob it out the window?

    After a few minutes of crying and shouting from the Kevin, I am sure that he would have calmed down and just got on with things. Maybe even read a book.

    Or am I being naive?

  16. Oli 1

    america, beat your kids!

    For their own sake, beat them with the largest object at hand!

    If your kids don't listen to you, you have failed as a parent. The police are not here to mop up your failings!

  17. Balefire
    Thumb Up

    Yoof of today, huh?

    Please let them have tazered the little scrote!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Help, help, police

    I can't open this jar.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    If I was president of the world...

    1) This woman would have been arrested for buying the game.

    2) Her kid would have been put into care because she's an unfit mother.

    3) She would have been fined for wasting police time.

    Put that on Fox and it won't happen again.

  20. rincewind


    Thats not that bad, cant imagine he would have been up that much longer unless he also has a 6 pack of red bull.

    p.s. i played 18 rated games as a kid (13-17) and i turned out to be a productive member of soc-KILL ALL HUMANS-iety.

  21. Charles Smith

    Help the misguided child

    Give the young lad two warnings to behave. If he ignores those, give him the phone number of the local Social Services so that he can arrange his own accommodation for the evening as he won't be sleeping under your roof.

    I just used to port lockdown the router when my little angel insisted on playing World of Warcraft into the wee hours. He soon took the hint.

  22. Joe Harrison

    Spot the non-parents

    in this thread. Yes we all like to roll-eyes and go "only in America" but put yourself in the position of some woman who is trying her level best to do the right thing for what sounds like an obnoxious brat probably bigger and stronger than her. It's not like she demanded a swat team she just ran out of options and looking for help.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Pull the plug you say? And what happens when the scrote attacks you afterwards?

    What does a parent do when a child says "fuck you I won't do what you tell me"?

    Not buy food? Change the locks? Move out? What do all the "pull the cable" posters suggest?

    1. Swarthy

      I am a parent

      albeit my sprog is only a wee one. But, if you raise the kid correctly, you shouldn't have that problem. If the kid has learned that disrespect to the parent will have consequences (no more games, no candy/snacks, no going over to friends' houses, etc) then the idea of saying "Sod off" to the 'rent shouldn't occur. If it does, it will hopefully happen when the kid is still small enough for the parent to handle, and if handles properly, swiftly, and with appropriate intensity, it won't happen more than once.

  24. Chad H.

    But if he was in arkansas

    If he was in Arkansas, all he'd have to do would be to plead baptist, claim to see the light, and huckabee would get him off.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    If it had been me...

    Would have pulled the fuse breakers - then confiscated the game (and console) or cut the power cable for the console...

    Calling the police - what a waste of their time.

  26. Squits

    "In this day and age"

    Thanks Mr Officer, but I was playing games 30 years ago, I hate how it's always demonising. It isn't the games fault, it's the feckin' parents.

  27. Chris Paulson

    All children are evil...

    It's up to the parent to beat and bully goodness into them.

    (Yes I have 2 children...)


    call to 911 over gta

    parents thease days blame the games industry for violance in kids when actually its the kid spending hours on end playing 18 rated games seeing the violance on screen then trying to copy it for real. this i think was a bit drastic though calling the cops to stop a kid playing wouldnt it of been simple to take his console away and for starters kids shouldnt be playing thease games in the first place. how are they getten there hands on them either there older brothers are buying them and leaving them lying around or the parents are getten them for them. parents should know better

  29. Blake St. Claire

    Not against the law to play it.

    Even if it might be against the law to buy it.

    I remember an El Reg article awhile back about a 13 year old girl in Blighty, pregnant by a 12 year old neighbor, with an accompanying picture of them with the baby, playing an 18+ game together. (Later it was revealed that the boy wasn't really the father.)

    Pot. Kettle. Black.

    1. Sooty

      That reminds me of where i used to work

      We had to find out from the legal department if kids who needed parents to sign things on their behalf, because they were 15 or younger, could sign things on behalf of their own kids!

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    why some people breed is beyond me, have they not heard of the morning after pill?

  31. Hombre sin nombre

    Re: Arresting the mother

    In the US, the ESRB is not a government construct and does not have legal authority. Most retailers have a policy of not selling 'M' rated games to persons under the age of 17, but there are no national laws on the subject, and I know of no local statutes that make the purchase of such games an arrestable offense.

    Also, Re: Pulling the plug: This would only enrage the 14 year old, and I doubt a physical confrontation between him and the single mother would end well for anyone.

    Prevention is the right approach, and the mother should never have allowed the situation to go unchecked so long.

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