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.
— Melissa J. Hipolit (@MelissaCBS6) June 25, 2018
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.