Yesterday it was Connecticut State Senator Gayle Slossberg (D) fretting about a non-existent rape scene in GTA IV.
Today, police in Nassau County, New York allege that six teenagers charged with robbing a man at a supermarket were emulating Grand Theft Auto:
Nassau County police cops have arrested six teens for robbing a man at a supermarket… The police add the teens arrested were emualting [sic] the characters from the video game Grand Theft Auto.
Police say later that night they were armed with bats and a crowbar and were walking down Stewrt Ave. when they robbed a woman of cigarettes and struck a passing van with a bat.
GP: The kid has a Red Hot Chili Peppers t-shirt on. Maybe he was imitating them…
Thanks to GamePolitics correspondent Colin "Jabrwock" McInnes for the heads-up.
UPDATE: Newsday has more on the GTA angle, including a quote from Nassau County P.D. Det. Sgt. Anthony Repalone:
It was determined that they were emulating the character in that Grand Theft Auto game, going on a crime spree… We got certain admissions.
UPDATE: According to the NY Post, the kids were specifically imitating GTA IV protagonist Nico Bellic. The paper quotes Nassau County Police Detective Lt. Raymond Cote:
They decided they were going to go out to commit robberies and emulate the [lead] character Nico Belic [sic] in the particularly violent video game Grand Theft Auto… These teens have difficulty separating fact from fiction, fantasy from reality . . . It was quite alarming… They were bored and they decided this was a good idea.
The Post adds:
Police would not say specifically how they knew that the teens crimes were motivated by Grand Theft Auto, and not by some other motive. They said they discovered it during their investigation.