To Catch (and Shoot) a Predator, Real-Life Edition

When a deranged Internet predator targeted her 14-year-old daughter, one mother from Goochland County, Virginia, took a courageous stand.

The girl’s interaction with 25-year-old Troy Skinner had begun several months prior over an online chat service called Discord, which caters to gamers. After a while, the girl figured out that she shouldn’t be talking to this guy and attempted to break off contact. But it was too late – he’d already found out where she lives.

Skinner then flew from New Zealand to Australia, to Los Angeles, and then to Washington D.C., after which he took a Greyhound bus to Richmond, then hitchhiked 30 miles to the victim’s home, and started banging on the door with a brick, screaming that he needed help.

Terrified, and having known nothing about her daughter’s previous interaction with the man, the girl’s mother called her husband. He immediately instructed her to get a gun, which she did, just in time to shoot at Skinner twice after he threw a landscaping stone through their glass door. She hit him once in the neck.

As Skinner was being taken to the hospital, police discovered that he had arrived at the house carrying a knife, pepper spray, and duct tape, purchased at a nearby Walmart.

“This was not random, not spontaneous, this was something very planned,” said Goochland Sheriff James Agnew. “He was not invited here, he was not expected here, he had been told in the past that the daughter no longer wished to communicate with him.”

Skinner is expected to survive this incident.

According to the FBI, 100% of children who meet up with online predators do so willingly. In this case, it was relatively fortunate that the predator came to the girl’s home, where her mother could defend her, instead of convincing her to meet him elsewhere, as is often the case. If you have teenagers, especially daughters, show them this story. Remind them that someone who becomes infatuated with a teenager over the Internet isn’t safe to talk to, and meeting that person alone could lead to tragedy.

comments

  1. avatar raptor jesus says:

    I can’t read “GOOCHland” with a straight face.

    1. avatar Chris in SC says:

      Try driving through Assawoman, MD with a straight face.

      1. avatar Mr Bad News says:

        Try Eatmytaint, CA,
        Oh,. the might not be correct…

  2. avatar Gator says:

    I’m such a sucker for a happy ending…sniff….sniff.

  3. avatar rt66paul says:

    While I understand how a senior in high school can be infatuated with a junior(or even a freshman girl) 18-15 year old romances happen. We don’t have to like it, but, it does happen. A 25 year old has no business obsessing over a 14 year old girl and the fact he is still alive is shows restraint on the part of the mother.

    1. avatar JasonM says:

      Biologically it makes sense for a male to be attracted to a post pubescent female. Millenia of evolution have put that in our brains. And even a century ago, a 25 – 14 relationship wasn’t taboo (my maternal grandparents got married in the late ’40s at 23 – 15). But a 14 year old today is not as mature as one a century ago, so it’s not an acceptable relationship.

      But I think the big issue here isn’t the age difference, it’s the flying across the world to harass her issue. Had the intended victim been 25 or 50, Skinner would still be a major nut job for stalking her like that.

    2. avatar anonymoose says:

      When I was 18 I had a 14-year-old girlfriend, and when I was 26 I had an 18-year-old girlfriend. That high school freshman had a promise ring, and so nothing illegal was going on there. Ohio law is weird- iirc 13-year-olds can do it with 16-year-olds, and 16-year-olds can do it with anyone, or something. Not that that matters for me now.

      But…when I was 14 I had a 26-year-old girlfriend (pedo-itrician).

      1. avatar J.T. says:

        Your recollection was close. Ohio’s is 13 to 17 are fine to have sex with each other and then 16+ with anyone. I personally wouldn’t mind seeing the 13 raised to 14. You typically start high school at 14, but with 13, you could theoretically see a high school senior with a 7th grader, and that’s kinda creepy.

    3. avatar Huntmaster says:

      There’s nothing wrong with a 23 year old man going out with a 14 year old girl. He just has to wait until after she turns 18. During those four years he can wrap up his education, start his career and establish himself.

  4. avatar the ghost of ironicatbest says:

    Ironicatbest would say, ” that Skinner dude sounded quite determined, ironic he went through all that preparation only to be shot. Perhaps he had forgotten that Americans still have the right to bear arms.”

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      New Zealand isn’t Australia.

      As far as English speaking countries go, NZ and CA are relatively pro-gun.

      1. avatar Arc says:

        Had a creeper from the United Kingdom get a little obsessed with me over the webs, I think hes too poor to fly to the united states and make me his sex slave. All the more reason to home carry.

        1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

          All the more reason to not use your real name, let alone divulge your location, on publicly accessible web forums.

        2. avatar JasonM says:

          All the more reason to not use your real name, let alone divulge your location, on publicly accessible web forums.

          So is Curtis in IL just a clever ruse to throw us off the trail? Are you really Lenny in Florida? 🙂

        3. avatar CZJay says:

          Had a creeper from the United Kingdom get a little obsessed with me over the webs, I think hes too poor to fly to the united states and make me his sex slave.

          These days even kids can easily make money on the internet playing games.

          All the more reason to not use your real name, let alone divulge your location, on publicly accessible web forums.

          People don’t have to tell you where they live for you to find them. You can track their location if you have direct communication with them or play video games with them. If you use certain programs with them people potentially can trace you, especially if you have social media accounts to help them verify.

          By the way, people need to stop giving their little kids internet access so easily. People give cellphones to kids to play with. Those little kids record “harmless” videos and put them on the internet. Then predators watch those videos and decide to message the child to coach them on how to make sexually suggestive videos. Next thing you know your little 9 year old girl is streaming herself twerking or doing yoga while wearing some revealing clothes.

        4. avatar Arc says:

          I have so many internet names that I lost count. I refresh new ones from time to time.

          Technically trolling, but sometimes its fun to claim to be a tranny who was brought to America from Poland as a child. People treat you wildly different

        5. avatar Maybe Gator says:

          I’ve lost count of my TTAG names.

  5. avatar Spencer says:

    Feel good story of the day.

  6. avatar ACP_armed says:

    All the way from New Zealand to VA… that guy needed a bullet. I just wish mom had shot him two feet lower.

    1. avatar Kenneth says:

      There is still hope for a happy ending. .22 bullets are filthy little pills due to the sticky outer lube on the projectile and can often kill later by infection. With a little luck there might have been antibiotic resistant, flesh eating bacteria on said projectile to the neck.

  7. avatar Mullah Bob says:

    According to Richmond Times Dispatch, the mother nailed him a couple of times with 22 caliber. One of the rounds hit him in the neck and the local police found him at the edge of the Woods, not doing very well. I guess 22 can be useful as a self defense round.
    Goochland County was named after a colonial governor of Virginia a Mr William Gooch.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      Tiny bullets kill… but slowly, excepting a headshot. In this case the guy (wisely) decided to hoof it away from the scary ‘Merican house and made it into the woods. What if he had decided to run forward instead?

      Well, that’s what follow-up shots are for. A .22 is better than nothing.

  8. avatar Joe R. says:

    Drugs / psychosis according to one of his ‘friends’ who ‘can’t believe’ he would do something like that (despite knowledge of anti-psychotic visits to doctor by ‘friend’), was ‘supposed to meet up [instead] with [other freaky ahole] ‘friends’ in OR’.

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/32289/25-year-old-man-man-flies-halfway-around-world-hank-berrien

  9. avatar Joe R. says:

    What do you do if you’re born in NZ with a perfect murderer name? Travel half-way around the world with a knife, pepper-spray, and duct tape, and see-wut-happinzzz. . .

    1. avatar CZJay says:

      There’s a lot of people out there that would say the women were in more danger from the gun than the rapist kidnapper.

  10. avatar bob says:

    He’s just lucking mom wasn’t packing a 6.5 Creedmoor!

    1. avatar Dave says:

      Then she could have shot him from her front yard while he was still in New Zealand!

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        You guys have all the talent required to become late night network “comedians”. One joke, not funny.

      2. avatar California Richard says:

        You goatta be careful using 6.5 CM to shoot foreigners. Article 75 paragraph 5 of the Hague convention says that using 6.5 CM (classified as a weapon of mass destruction) not only constitutes an act of war but also a “crime against humanity”. When you hit someone with 6.5 CM it not only kills the person, but the bullet travels back in time and kills all his ancestors…. not like that lame ass 7.62x51mm which only kills a person once.

        1. avatar bob says:

          So the 6.5 CM may have been developed as part of North Koreas nuclear program?!

  11. avatar yolo says:

    “Skinner then flew from New Zealand to Australia”

    im going to draw a bold conclusion and say his behavior came from the mindset of someone not expecting their victim to be armed.

    Unironically God Bless the 2nd Amendment.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I was thinking the same, poor Kiwi was not psychologically prepared for an armed victim, how dare she!? Prosecute mom so when I get out of the hospital I can go straight to her house to live with her daughter. Wonder if this is being reported in NZ?

    2. avatar Nigel the Expat says:

      Private firearms ownership, while burdensome, is still more broad than in AUS (post confiscation).

      The process is a PITA (at least compared to non-slave states in the US), but you can own a pistol, MSSAs (their language for MSRs), and ‘other’ firearms. Differing license levels, differing endorsements, etc. make US slave-state regulations look tame in some ways, but they can still own more types of arms than their AUS neighbors.

      1. avatar BehindEnemyLines says:

        New Zealand is one of three countries I would choose to live in besides the U.S. The others are Switzerland and Czechia. Those are the only non-shithole countries I am aware of that don’t have especially burdensome gun laws.

  12. avatar Joe R. says:

    If you’re “crazy” enough to attempt this, you’re crazy enough to have difficulties planning this.

    If you’re “sane” enough to plan and accomplish this, your doctor can get you just fV(king crazy enough to try it, with “anti-psychosis” medication.

    Just think how much fun we can have if Marijuana is legalized.

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        thinning the herd.
        herd immunity.
        because if legalized it instantly becomes much more potentate.
        let the slatherfication of the hellmanifestation begin.

      2. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

        “Man fell to death after eating marijuana cookies”

        Well, that was a real buzz-kill…

    1. avatar JasonM says:

      Marijuana is legal for recreational use for almost a third of the population, and for medical use (like “anxiety”) for the majority of the population. There’s been no uptick in crazy people crimes or DUI accidents in any of these states. This “think of the children!” scare mongering is akin to the “blood in the streets” scare mongering that gun control advocates promote, and just as ridiculous.

      Also, legalization doesn’t make drugs more “potentate” (sic). Prohibition makes them more potent. The potency of recreational opiates and cocaine in the US went up by an order of magnitude from the 1930s to the 1980s (as the price declined and the availability increased). The criminal statutes were all based on weight, so the traffickers would try to get as much “high” as per pound as possible.

      1. avatar CZJay says:

        I think he is on more than marijuana:

        Today’s druggies love to use all kinds of things to get messed up. They will mix various things to get the most out of the experience. Straight melting their brain cells for life. If they were not dumb before using drugs they will be after.

      2. avatar troutbum5 says:

        Uh, no. Marijuana related traffic deaths have more than doubled in Colorado since recreational pot was legalized. I routinely smell pot smoke in traffic, and have passed a few cars in which I could see the driver puffing away on a doobie or pipe. Which is more than a little disconcerting when I’m on the scoot.

      3. avatar Dave Huff says:

        Bull!

    2. avatar Kendahl says:

      It’s my understanding that marijuana just makes you mellow and less likely to attack anyone.

      1. avatar JasonM says:

        In general, yes. But long term use might increase the chances of psychological disorders, like schizophrenia or depression.
        In general, it’s a bad idea to use mind affecting chemicals longer than medically necessary.

        1. avatar CZJay says:

          Yet Americans drink practically every week.

        2. avatar Bill B says:

          ‘Might’?

          Ever see Refer Madness?

          Obscure, but nonetheless a classic.

        3. avatar Arc says:

          Obscene doses of psychedelics may bring out latent mental disorders, it takes years of smoking weed several times a day for it to bring about thunderclap headaches, and violent nausea, psychological disorders.

      2. avatar Pelvicpunch says:

        Typically yes;
        Sadly my sister in law was murdered by her husband when he was smoking pot. He had some crazy psycho episode that ended up with him taking her life.
        I realize thats not the typical reaction/situation, but some anecdote nonetheless

    3. avatar CZJay says:

      Marijuana is likely to make people lazy, dumb and forgetful. Those prescription drugs on the other hand…

  13. avatar DrDKW says:

    Pity now they can’t just ship him back home in a bag!

    DrDKW

  14. avatar former water walker says:

    Yeah “Troy Skinner”…throw that boy in with some boys named Antwan. Breaking: SCOTUS upholds moose-lim travel BAN!😄😄😄😄

  15. avatar Nigel the Expat says:

    “…a knife, pepper spray, and duct tape, purchased at a nearby Walmart.”

    Walmart Clerk: “Nice rape kit. That will be $31.93, please.”

    1. avatar JasonM says:

      😀 😀 😀

    2. avatar Scoutino says:

      Only thing missing is a shovel.

  16. avatar JasonM says:

    I just read an article on HuffPo about a gun crazy racist Virginian who murdered an innocent foreign traveler asking for directions. What a coincidence!

    1. avatar TheStoic says:

      That’s awful! What would make someone do that?

      Read HuffPo I mean…

  17. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    Poor dude didn’t realize he was bringing a knife to a gunfight.

    After he is “cured” and gets out of the psych ward, he will tool up and be better prepared for his next attempt at kidnapping and rape.

  18. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

    “Terrified, and having known nothing about her daughter’s previous interaction with the man, the girl’s mother called her husband. He immediately instructed her to get a gun, which she did, just in time to shoot at Skinner twice after he threw a landscaping stone through their glass door.”

    Really? Dude is hammering on the door with a brick and you call your husband for advice? Seriously? WTF?

    1. avatar California Richard says:

      My wife used to do that too when she heard noises around the house. I would always tell her the same thing: “What am I going to do? I’m an hour away! Get a gun and turn off the lights. If someone comes in to the house, shoot them!” After about 5 years she stopped calling and wanted a gun safe attached to the bed.

  19. avatar CZJay says:

    Not so easy in the U.S.A. Definitely not in Virginia. Maybe in California.

    Hide yo’ kids. Hide yo’ wife. Or give them a gun.

  20. avatar Maybe Gator says:

    Surprised this hasn’t brought up. Don’t invite the news media into your house after a DGU. Or ever.

  21. avatar tmm says:

    NZ…to Australia…to CA…to DC…to Richmond…to hitchhiking the rest of the way. Man, he was determined. Shows you what an ill-minded perp will do when “motivated.”

    And he started screaming he needed help? Yes, yes he did.

    1. avatar Troubled Soul says:

      And yet they still think if they just had some signs saying Gun Free Zone
      That would do the trick

  22. avatar Dave Huff says:

    No surprise here.
    He was, after all, a KIWI.

  23. avatar Pat Sugrue says:

    fly halfway around the world to do something stupid I’m sure there has to be plenty of people in NZ he could have targeted makes no sense lock him up

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