Criminal Lies About GTA; D.C. Radio Station Spreads It

You know how in Grand Theft Auto you can drive around swatting pedestrians with an open car door? Yes? No? Doesn't matter, a teen headed to jail for doing that blamed it on the game.

The prosecutor in the case of Nathan Hartley, convicted of "door-checking" two Maryland kids and sent to jail for 7 years, says he didn't bring up any GTA angle in this case. He said that was the strategy Hartley's lawyers took in an attempt to get the proceeding kicked back down to juvenile court. But it hasn't stopped mainstream outlets like Galaxy News Radio WTOP-FM of Washington from mentioning completely untrue bullshit in its report on the crime:

In the popular game "Grand Theft Auto," players drive virtual cars and intentionally hit pedestrians by smacking them with open car doors. It's called "door checking," and prosecutors say 18-year-old Nathan Hartley decided to try it with a real car last summer.

PS3Attitude actually called the prosecutor, John Mark McDonald, to ask WTF, and McDonald said video games had nothing to do with his side of the case. Said McDonald:

The suggestion came through the Defendant. I have never seen Grand Theft Auto, and had never heard of ‘door-checking' until this case. It was a defence he set forth in attempting to waive his case back to the juvenile court. The State did not introduce the game into the prosecution of this case. It added nothing. My comments on the game were to rebut his reasoning for doing what he did. I did not suggest that the game was to blame for his conduct, and would not. The blame lies entirely with Nathan Hartley. I stated as much in court. As I indicated, I have never even seen the game and I was not passing any judgment on the game. I was simply arguing why I felt his justification was not valid.

In case you are wondering, Hartley was sent to prison for seven years for "door-checking" - at 30 mph - two brothers, one 11 years old, the other 15. The incident occurred on Maryland's Eastern Shore last August.

I've heard of lots of things blamed on video games, but usually the crime committed at least had some tenuous connection to actual acts performed in one - shooting, typically. It's quite another to completely misrepresent what a game does, even if it's the defendant's side of the story. There's no "on the other hand" about facts, unless you just want to be a stenographer for straight garbage, which is what WTOP is in this case.

GTA 'Door-Checking' Case Prosecutor; "The Blame Lies Entirely with Nathan Hartley" [PS3 Attitude, thanks Parker.]


    Well i have seen the media exaggerate a bit about what you did in gta - such as rape, shooting babies, etc. However, even though i don't believe GTA should be blamed for real crime, i do recall being able to hit people with car doors in the fourth game.
    It wasn't really an intended feature, but if the door was open, and you reversed into a crowd, physics would kick in, and some people would often fly over the door from the impact. All i'm saying is, it can happen in the game (from simple physics).
    I'm still happy this loser got 7 years though. When will the world realise that it takes a lot of motivation and the mind of a genuine maniac to get up and assault someone like that. In fact, this game is exposing them easier, sending them to jail before they do something really stupid

      Yes it can happen in the game due to the physics present, but it's not an implicit feature or instructed attack/activity, nor is it rewarded in any way by the game.

      Im sick of games copping shit from tenuous bullshit picked up and ridden to death by the media (Faux's Mass Effect disaster, anyone?).

    WTH1 how does get 7 years for hitting 2 kids with a door. people who do far worse offenses get like 3-4 years @[email protected]

    Maybe they should just make a suicide game - that way we'll get rid of the idiots that copy what they do in games.
    But seriously it's a bit of a cliché nowadays to blame something that you've done on games. What's next: is some guy going to steal a truck and drive around until he is caught and then blame it on that truck simulator game?

    You couldn't do it in GTA 4 but you could in Carmageddon 2 way back when. I think you even got bonus points for killing someone with it.

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