A 33-year-old Maine man was arrested Sunday with baseball bats in tow, and his phone allegedly displaying directions to the Googleplex in Mountain View.
Police in Mountain View, the Silicon Valley home of Google/Alphabet, say they’ve arrested a man who drove 3,000 miles across the country to personally complain that his YouTube channel was removed from the platform. The problem, according to the Mountain View Police Department, is that he “made threats against Google” and brought “three baseball bats,” and his bizarre cross-country trip had already included several alleged violent incidents.
ABC 7 reports that Mountain View police arrested 33-year-old Kyle Long of Waterville, Maine for making criminal threats against Google and YouTube personnel. According to KPIX/CBS SF, “Police found three baseball bats in his car, and Long’s phone was displaying directions to Mountain View.”
Mountain View police say in a Facebook post that they’d been tipped off by Iowa State Patrol troopers Friday when those officers had not one, but two incidents with Long in the same day. “Iowa State Patrol had spoken with Long twice that day,” the department says. “Once after his vehicle was involved in a non-injury collision and a second time after he vandalized a restroom at a gas station store a short time later.
“Long informed state troopers that he was on his way to Mountain View, California, to meet with Google after his YouTube channel had been shut down, which he claimed was resulting in him losing money.”
An additional tip from Long’s hometown Maine police department told Mountain View police that “he had stated if his meeting with Google personnel did not go well, he was going to resort to physical violence,” according to their post. Police intercepted Long’s vehicle Sunday afternoon at the U.S. 101 Moffett Boulevard exit, about two miles from the Google headquarters known as the Googleplex.
The incident harkens back to an April 2018 shooting of three YouTube employees in San Bruno, wherein the shooter was also upset over YouTube’s treatment of her channel. That 39-year-old woman took her own life before being arrested.
Apparently Long was unaware that YouTube's headquarters isn't in Mountain View, or else he had some specific other target in mind.
As of this morning, Long is in Santa Clara County Jail being held on $25,000 bail. Police insist they will alert Google if he’s released.