An Ohio man, who played the live-action role-playing game Dagorhir, delivered a pipe bomb to severely wound the boyfriend of a woman who spurned his romantic interest, authorities said Thursday.
Clayton Alexander McCoy, 30, a resident of Chesterland, was arrested and charged with transporting an explosive device with intent to injure and using a destructive device in a violent crime, according to a federal criminal complaint.
The victim was seriously injured after opening a package bomb inside his Manchester, Maryland, home on Oct. 30, authorities said.
Shrapnel struck his "chest, legs and front of (his) body" and the victim wasn't released from the hospital until Nov. 17, though he's still undergoing rehab, said Dawn Machon, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, in the complaint.
The victim's girlfriend "has known McCoy for approximately seven years, since McCoy became a member of the Dagorhir community," according to Machon.
Dagorhir is a live-action role-playing battle game with full-contact melee fighting between players wearing medieval-style garb and wielding weapons made of foam or other lightweight, harmless material.
Carroll County, Maryland, Sheriff Jim DeWees likened Dagorhir to Civil War re-enactments.
McCoy and the victim's girlfriend had been close and were even planning a camping trip together, according to the complaint. But around Oct. 12, McCoy told her "that he had had feelings for her" but she "did not feel the same way and was in a relationship" with the victim, Machon wrote.
Following the blast, the girlfriend told investigators that McCoy, "like most members of the Dagorhir, is proficient at wood and metal and may have the ability to have create the device that exploded," according to the complaint.
The victim had also known the suspect through Dagorhir but "did not think McCoy would be responsible for this incident," Machon wrote.
Google and Verizon data linked mobile devices owned by McCoy to a nearly seven-hour journey that started in Chesterland at 1:24 a.m. and ended in Manchester on Oct. 30, federal investigators said.
McCoy's devices entered the victim's neighborhood at about 8:18 a.m. that morning, just before the victim's grandfather spotted the package addressed to his grandson outside their home at 8:30 a.m., federal authorities said.
Records also showed that accounts linked to McCoy used Google Maps to ask for directions from his Ohio home to the victim's Maryland address about 360 miles away, the complaint said.
"We felt early on, we believed the device was not delivered by UPS, FedEx or traditional party," Sheriff DeWees told reporters Thursday. "But based on what we learned from the package, it probably had to be dropped by off by a third party, delicately, or by the individual that was seeking to do harm."
The timing of the bombing, just ahead of the holidays, was particularly unnerving, officials said.
"We were coming up on Christmas and the fear of packages showing up on front porches and exploding" had neighbors on edge, DeWees said. "The family and the community up there is extremely relieved that we've come to this conclusion and an arrest."
During a brief virtual hearing before a federal judge in Youngstown, Ohio, on Thursday, McCoy did not challenge his identity as the man named in the criminal complaint, clearing the way for his transport to Maryland, according to court records.
McCoy's federal public defender declined to discuss the case Friday and members of the suspect's family did not immediately return messages seeking their comments.
McCoy was convicted in 2013 of sharing child pornography online with an undercover investigator, according to federal authorities and Geauga County, Ohio, prosecutors.
He was sentenced to four years in prison and forced to register on the state's sex offender registry. He is not currently under probation, so this federal arrest has no impact on his previous Ohio case, the local prosecutor said.