Leon Neal / AFP - Getty Images
HMV staff sell Grand Theft Auto V at a store store in London early Tuesday.
LONDON -- A gamer who stood in line until midnight to buy "Grand Theft Auto V" was stabbed, hit with a brick and robbed as he walked home from the store, police said.
The 23-year-old had just bought the new video game from an Asda outlet in Colindale, North London when he was attacked around 1:20 a.m. local time on Tuesday (8:20 p.m. ET Monday). Like many others worldwide, the store had opened late to accommodate the game’s much-anticipated midnight release.
Three teenagers were later arrested in connection with the assault and robbery, police said early Wednesday.
“The victim had been shopping and was on his way home when he was hit with a brick,” London’s Metropolitan Police said in a statement. “He was then stabbed and robbed.”
Police confirmed that a copy of "Grand Theft Auto V" had been stolen, along with a watch and cellphone, but said the motive was “unclear at this stage.”
Three suspects, aged 15, 16, and 18, were being held in custody, authorities said.
"Grand Theft Auto V" is the latest in a controversial franchise from publishers Rockstar Games. It plunges players into a world of U.S. gang violence where they are encouraged to steal cars and kill adversaries for power and wealth.
It has received rave reviews and sales are expected to reach $1 billion worldwide.
The incident in London was not the only allegation of lawlessness by eager "Grand Theft Auto" fans.
Three men were arrested at a Staten Island mall after allegedly impersonating police officers and attempting to cut in line to buy the video game, NBC News New York reported.
The trio, two aged 19 and a 20-year-old, were charged with criminal impersonation.
Authorities said they drove to the mall in an unmarked police car – complete with lights and sirens – which they had bought at auction, before flashing a badge to get to the front of a line of hundreds.
First published September 18 2013, 6:09 AM