2 charged with misdemeanors in ‘assassination’ game prank gone bad

Posted at 4:30 PM, May 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-04 19:20:03-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Two people have been charged with "simple assault" for scaring a local woman with Nerf guns during an "assassination game" last week.

The Kent County Prosecutor says that Elizabeth Jacobs and Basil Wiering are charged with misdemeanors which carry a maximum penalty of 93 days in jail and $500 fines.

Prosecutor Chris Becker says that the game was being played by Grand Rapids Christian High School students, but is a popular game in other areas of the country as well. He notes that a school in New Jersey was locked down once during a game.

He says that the charges are to hold people accountable for actions that allegedly went beyond "what a game should entail."

Nicole Laughlin said she initially thought she was being carjacked last week when she fell victim to the prank.  She told FOX 17 she was about to leave for work in Comstock Park on Friday morning when she a gray SUV blocked her exit from her driveway.

She then says a man jumped out of the bushes on the passenger side of her vehicle and "held the gun at my window and repeatedly shook the handle."

The Kent County Sheriff's Office says the incident with Laughlin was a case of mistaken identity.

"They approached the wrong vehicle with the wrong person in it," Detective Joel Roon told FOX 17 on Monday.

Police investigated the incident as an attempted carjacking, not realizing until they tracked the people down that they were students with Grand Rapids Christian Schools and that this was part of the "assassination game."

Becker says that with more people carrying concealed weapons, incidents with players could turn into tragedy. He says that he doesn't intend to seek any jail time with the case but to prevent future incidents like this.