BY ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH | An Upper East Side police officer found a missing teen by using a gaming app.
On Sat., March 23, around 9:20 p.m., the boy’s parents reported that their teenage son was missing.
Officers Strebel and Durney from the 19th Precinct responded to the family’s home, at 68th St. and Madison Ave. The parents informed them that they did not know where their 15-year-old had gone and were unable to reach him by phone.
According to police, the father and mother were especially concerned over their son’s whereabouts due to his “psych history.” Officers did not elaborate on the details of the teen’s mental health.
While at the family’s home, Strebel noticed that the missing teen’s computer was logged into Discord, a Web site that is an all-in-one voice-and-text-chat platform for gamers. Strebel, a gamer himself, quickly logged into his own Discord account with his cell phone and sent a friend request to the teen.
The missing boy accepted the cop’s friend request. Strebel then sent him a message letting the youth know that he was a cop and that his parents were worried and looking for him.
As it turns out, the boy did not run away and was at a Shake Shack nearby. It merely had all been a miscommunication between the couple and their son.
Although, the teen was safe, when he returned home after receiving Strebel’s message, his parents requested the youth be taken to a hospital by ambulance.
Meanwhile, Strebel has earned kudos for his good work on the incident — and the new nickname “Gamer Cop.”