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Medieval battle role-player, 30, is arrested for ‘trying to blow up his love rival with a pipe bomb’

An Ohio man who competed in a medieval combat role-playing game has been federally indicted for allegedly trying to kill his love rival with a pipe bomb.

Clayton Alexander McCoy, 30, was investigated by special agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after allegedly trying to blow up his foe in Manchester, Maryland on October 30, according to a warrant for his arrest obtained by DailyMail.com.

McCoy was arrested on Wednesday and will have his initial court appearance in Ohio on Friday before he is expected to be transferred to Maryland to stand trial, WJT-TV reported.

Authorities said McCoy had unrequited feelings for the victim’s girlfriend, but had agreed to remain friends with her when she said she did not feel the same way about him.

The victim, identified as N.K. in court filings, suffered severe injuries and burns when he opened a package that shot shrapnel and BB pellets into his body.

Clayton Alexander McCoy, 30, is pictured in medieval chainmail and armor to participate in Dagorhir role-playing

Clayton Alexander McCoy, 30, is pictured in medieval chainmail and armor to participate in Dagorhir role-playing

McCoy is pictured carrying a foam weapon participate in medieval combat as part of Dagorhir role-playing

McCoy is pictured carrying a foam weapon participate in medieval combat as part of Dagorhir role-playing

Officials have requested a DNA sample from McCoy to match against DNA found on evidence collected after the bomb detonated.

McCoy was tracked down after investigators with the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office filed multiple search warrants that requested data from Google about nearby devices and associated registered accounts on the day the bomb went off.

It was determined that McCoy’s phone entered the man’s neighborhood that morning and the package was delivered to the man’s home around 8.25am after he left for work.

McCoy, pictured, participates in Dagorhir role-playing which uses foam weapons to participate in medieval combat

McCoy, pictured, participates in Dagorhir role-playing which uses foam weapons to participate in medieval combat

A truck belonging to McCoy’s mother was caught on a neighbor’s Nest camera near the home that morning. 

The victim’s grandfather brought the package into the home N.K. shared with his grandparents and left it on the kitchen table were it went untouched until he returned home.

‘It was just sitting on my porch and my husband carried it in the house,’ the victim’s grandmother said at the time, according to KCTV.

‘We took it out of the plastic bag it was in and set it (in) my dining room.’

The grandmother, who was not identified by the outlet, said her grandson underwent surgery and said he was ‘mutilated’ by the bomb.

She revealed she felt the blast from several rooms away. 

‘I’m in the kitchen, I hear an explosion and I hear my grandson scream,’ she recalled.

She added: ‘Have you ever been hit in the back of the head and shoved so fast forward that your glasses fly off? That’s what it felt like in the kitchen and that’s three walls away from his room.’ 

McCoy was accused of transporting an explosive device with intent to injure and using a destructive device for a bombing at a Maryland home, pictured

McCoy was accused of transporting an explosive device with intent to injure and using a destructive device for a bombing at a Maryland home, pictured

A truck belonging to McCoy's mother was caught on a Nest camera near the home he allegedly bombed

A truck belonging to McCoy’s mother was caught on a Nest camera near the home he allegedly bombed

Carroll County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a home around 5:30pm when the package detonated.

N.K.’s recent girlfriend, identified as S.B., was interviewed at the home on October 30 and asked if she knew who might have been responsible for the bomb.

She told investigators that she had known McCoy for seven years after she became a member of the Dagorhir community – a live action role-playing battle game ‘with full contact melee fighting and ranged combat as its primary focus,’ according to the complaint.

Dagorhir members communicate in person and on social media, including Discord – an online platform favored by gamers.

Photos posted to McCoy’s Facebook page show him dressed in costumes to participate in Dagorhir role-playing.

Through Discord, McCoy would often communicate with S.B. and N.K. – who he is also friends with – under the username Funk Man #2439.

Cops respond to the scene where a man was hurt by a pipe bomb left at a home he shared with his grandparents

Cops respond to the scene where a man was hurt by a pipe bomb left at a home he shared with his grandparents

A sign shows that the building is unsafe after the pipe bomb went off at a Maryland home

A sign shows that the building is unsafe after the pipe bomb went off at a Maryland home

A truck belonging to McCoy's mother was pinged along the way from Ohio to the Maryland home and authorities alleged he planned the route to avoid toll booths

A truck belonging to McCoy’s mother was pinged along the way from Ohio to the Maryland home and authorities alleged he planned the route to avoid toll booths

S.B. recounted to authorities that she was planning a camping trip with McCoy but sometime around October 12 he told her that he had feelings for her. She told him that she was dating N.K. and did not feel the same way about him.

McCoy and S.B. agreed to stay friends but she cancelled the trip and told McCoy she was busy with work even though she no longer felt comfortable going on the trip with him, authorities say.

On November 2, cops interviewed N.K., who was still hospitalized, and he told them he has known McCoy for three years and did not think he was behind the attack.

However, N.K. told cops that McCoy, ‘like most members of Dagorhir, is proficient at wood and metal and may have the ability to have created the device that exploded,’ according to the complaint.

McCoy’s phone was tracked from where he lives with his mother in Ohio to the victim’s address and the route appeared specifically designed to avoid tolls, the complaint alleges.

According to investigators, McCoy had searched ‘1994 toyota pickup gas tank capacity’ in the days before the attack.

McCoy was previously convicted of trying to obtain obscene materials involving a minor in March 2013 and was sentenced to four years imprisonment and is currently on the Ohio sex offender registry.

In a press conference on Thursday, Carroll County Sheriff James T. DeWees said the bombing caused panic throughout the community ahead of the Christmas season as residents expected deliveries.

‘Many in this region may recall how frightening this incident was and in the days following,’ DeWees said.

‘Cases involving explosions often take months or even years to solve. And we’re all very grateful for the speed and deliberation by which this law enforcement team put this case together through methodical investigative work and through teamwork.’

He continued: ‘Everyone here on this law enforcement team succeeded in not only holding and apprehending a dangerous criminal, but also hopefully provided reassurance to a community that was justifiably alarmed after the bombing.’

If convicted, McCoy faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for transporting explosives with intent to injure and a mandatory minimum of 30 years and a maximum of life in federal prison for using, carrying, or possession of a destructive device during and in relation to a crime of violence. 


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