Armed man allegedly holds IT worker hostage until his computer is fixed

Man allegedly told a technician, 'I will kill you slowly if you don't fix this computer'

Office space machine beating

The 'smash scene' from Mike Judge's 1999 film Office Space is often held up by people with malfunctioning computers as an example of how they feel. (Getty Images/Twentieth Century Fox)



A slow, glitchy or flat-out broken computer can make people do crazy things — like take their PC tower into an alley and shoot it eight times as an act "revenge."

The brave information technology workers tasked with repairing our machines know very well how intense malfunction-induced rage can get, judging by the volume of tech support horror stories available online. 

From the frustrating to the funny, service technicians deal with a lot of guff from customers. Rarely, however, are their lives actually threatened.

An Arlington, Va., man was arrested and charged with abduction this week for allegedly refusing to let a computer repair technician leave his home "until his computer was fixed."

Police say that the accused, 50-year-old Joseph Nestor Mondello, "threatened to kill the victim" while holding a gun when the incident occurred at his residence Monday morning.

Mondello is now in custody at the Arlington County Jail, according to an ABC affiliate in nearby Washington, D.C. He was granted a $20,000 bond Wednesday morning, but has yet to post it.

Joseph Nestor Mondello

Joseph Nestor Mondello, 50, is a lawyer and lobbyist according to local news reports. He was charged with abduction after allegedly brandishing a gun and threatening to kill the repair technician who was fixing his computer. (ABC7)

Claiming that the technician only made their computer's problems worse, Mondello's wife told ABC7 on Wednesday that the service worker is "fabricating everything."

"It's like, he felt insulted … and he decided to get back at us," she said of the technician's decision to call police after leaving her home.

The Arlington County Police Department told a different story.

Officers and SWAT team members made contact with Mondello following the incident with the repair worker and were eventually able to "convince him to surrender" according to ABC7.

"He was clearly agitated at the time," said department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

Police said Mondello had allegedly told the victim: "It was essentially along the lines of, 'I will kill you slowly if you don't fix this computer.'"

The gun Mondello was holding turned out to be fake, but that didn't win him any sympathy from police.

"They look like the real thing," said Sternbeck. "Replica weapons have serious consequences as well."

If convicted of abduction, the professional lobbyist and lawyer could face a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

It is not yet clear what the computer problem was or whether it was ever resolved.

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