A Man Drove Across The Country To Confront YouTube Over His Account Being Suspended But It Was Actually His Wife
Angry because his single YouTube video on how to get rich quick had been taken down, 33-year-old Kyle Long drove more than 3,300 miles from his home in Waterville, Maine, to Google’s headquarters in California, intent on convincing the tech giant to restore his account.
But what Long didn’t know, his father told BuzzFeed News, was that the video and his account had been deleted not by YouTube, but his wife. Concerned about his mental state, she deleted the “rambling” and “bizarre” video, then blamed YouTube to avoid a confrontation with her husband, Kevin Long told BuzzFeed News in a phone interview.
“He came up with this crazy idea to make everyone millionaires,” Kevin Long said. “She told him Google or Facebook must have took it down because you can’t put stupid shit on there.”
The wife did not respond to a request for comment. But Kevin Long said his son, who has had a history of mental health issues, became fixated on the video and told family and friends he would make the cross-country trip to convince Google, which owns YouTube, to restore the content.
“He had good intentions — he wanted to solve world hunger and this and that,” Kevin Long said of his son, who he said was convinced his video would solve the world’s problems. “It was bizarre and crazy, and it wasn’t going to happen.”
Instead, Kyle Long was arrested Sunday by Mountain View Police in California on suspicion of making threats against Google.
Google declined to comment on the matter.
That shooter had driven to YouTube headquarters from San Diego after she alleged the company “discriminated and filtered” her vegan and animal rights videos.
A spokeswoman for Mountain View Police told BuzzFeed News that Kyle Long didn’t threaten specific people at Google, but that the Maine resident had “made general threats of violence towards unknown people if the meeting regarding his YouTube channel didn’t go as he wanted it to.”
Mountain View Police officers had already been on the lookout after getting warnings from their counterparts in Waterville, Maine, and the Iowa State Patrol about the cross-country trip.
Iowa State Patrol officers had spoken to Kyle Long twice, once after he was involved in a non-injury crash and another time for allegedly vandalizing gas station restroom.
The 33-year-old told a state trooper that he was on his way to Mountain View to talk to Google executives about his YouTube channel.
That prompted the agency to to contact Mountain View Police, after the trooper felt “something wasn’t right when Long began talking about how upset he was at Google,” the spokeswoman said.
Waterville Police Deputy Chief William Bonney told BuzzFeed News they then received a call Sunday that Long was in California, and they passed the information along to Mountain View police.
When Kyle Long was taken into custody Sunday, police said they found three baseball bats inside his car.
Kevin Long said his son hay have been upset, but never mentioned resorting to violence.
“All he wanted was to get it back online,” he said. “Something is wrong with him.”
As for the three bats, Kevin Long said his 9-year-old grandson plays in a little league.
Sunday’s arrest is not the first time Kyle Long has been in trouble with the law, something that his father attributed to his mental health.
At the age of 16, Kyle Long was convicted in the death of his friend, Michael Butler, when he crashed into a pole while intoxicated.
“When he got out everything seemed fine, but that’s when the nightmares started,” Kevin Long said.
His son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, he said, and he continued to have encounters with police when he stopped taking his medication.
In 2015, after he led police in a slow-speed pursuit on an interstate, Kevin Long said Kyle told him he thought he was receiving a presidential escort, which is why he didn’t pull over.
“I just know it’s been a mess and it’s been a revolving door,” he said. “He goes to jail and he gets no help.”