'Swatter' Going to Prison for 20 Years Over Fake Calls

One Tyler Barriss stunt got a man killed in Kansas
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2019 4:30 PM CDT
His 'Swatting' Stunts Land Him In Prison for 20 Years
In this May 22, 2018, file photo, Tyler Barriss, of California, appears for a preliminary hearing in Wichita, Kan.   (Bo Rader/The Wichita Eagle via AP, File)

A 26-year-old man is going to federal prison for 20 years because of his prolific "swatting"—calling in phony reports of emergencies to police. In the worst case, a fake call that Tyler Barriss of Los Angeles made to police in Kansas about a hostage situation got a man killed, reports NBC News. When police stormed the Wichita address given by Barriss, 28-year-old Andrew Finch stepped outside, raised and lowered his arms, then was fatally shot by an officer. Police say two gamers had asked Barriss to "swat" Finch because of a beef over a video game. Those two are awaiting trial, reports the Wichita Eagle.

"We hope that this will send a strong message about swatting, which is a juvenile and senseless practice," said US Attorney Stephen McAllister. "We'd like to put an end to it within the gaming community and any other context." The Kansas case was far from Barriss' only crime. He pleaded guilty to 51 charges involving calls all around the country, including bomb threats made to the Federal Trade Commission and to the FBI headquarters. (Read more swatting stories.)

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