swatting

13 Stories

Gamer Gets 15 Months for 'Harmless Prank'

But Casey Viner's prank got someone killed

(Newser) - An Ohio gamer upset about a $1.50 bet while playing Call of Duty: WWII online was sentenced Friday to 15 months in prison for recruiting a prankster to make a bogus emergency call that resulted in the fatal shooting of a Kansas man by police, the AP reports. Casey... More »

Well-Known Columnist Apparently Got 'Swatted'

Someone called cops, told them Leonard Pitts Jr.'s wife was being murdered in their home

(Newser) - "It was an interesting way to start the morning," says columnist Leonard Pitts Jr., and that may be just a bit of an understatement. After someone made a hoax call to police reporting that the wife of the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist was being murdered inside their Bowie, Md.... More »

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

One Tyler Barriss stunt got a man killed in Kansas

(Newser) - 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... More »

'Swatter' in Fatal Case Pleads Guilty

Tyler Barriss faces 20 to 25 years in federal case, still faces trial on state charges

(Newser) - The man who "swatted" another in a prank that ended with the second man dead pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday. Tyler Barriss, 26, pleaded guilty to 51 federal charges related to not just the fatal hoax 911 call on Dec. 28, 2017, but also bomb threats against FCC... More »

Home of Parkland Survivor, Activist 'Swatted'

Someone called in a hoax hostage situation, causing police to respond to David Hogg's home

(Newser) - David Hogg, the Parkland school shooting survivor who has been called an actor by a GOP aide and a liar by a political candidate , bullied by conspiracy theorists , mocked by Laura Ingraham , called rude names by Sylvester Stallone's brother , and threatened by a TV commentator , endured more fallout from... More »

No Charges for Officer Who Killed Victim of 'Swatting' Prank

Andrew Finch's family has filed a civil suit

(Newser) - The Kansas police officer who fired the shot that killed a man during a hoax emergency call will not face criminal charges, a prosecutor announced Thursday. District Attorney Marc Bennett said there was reasonable concern at the time that Andrew Finch may have been armed with a weapon, the AP... More »

Arrest Made in Prank Call That Led to Fatal Police Shooting

Tyler Barriss arrested in California in connection to death of man in Kansas

(Newser) - Police have arrested a 25-year-old man in Los Angeles in connection with a "swatting" prank that left a 28-year-old Kansas man dead Thursday night, KWCH reports. Tyler Barriss, arrested Friday afternoon, is accused of making a false report to police. He was arrested two years ago in connection to... More »

Police Kill Man in Apparent 'Swatting' Prank

Sources say it started as argument between strangers over video game

(Newser) - A 28-year-old man in Kansas was reportedly killed by police Thursday night over a $1.50 bet made on a video game by two strangers. After receiving a call about someone shooting their father and holding their family hostage, police responded en masse to a house in Wichita, the Wichita ... More »

Charlottesville Rally Organizer Arrested for Alleged Doxing

Jason Kessler says it wasn't him who outed info of protester

(Newser) - The organizer of the Charlottesville white supremacist rally is wanted by police for allegedly doxing a protester at the rally. Jason Kessler is accused of tweeting Emily Gorcenski's name, address, and a photograph of her home on Oct. 3; five days later, someone followed up the doxing with a... More »

Bomb Threats Reported at Schools in 18 States

Robocalls believed to be 'swatting' hoaxes

(Newser) - Schools across the nation were hit by a wave of robocall bomb threats Monday, closing buildings and forcing the evacuation of thousands of students, USA Today reports. Elementary, middle, and high schools in at least 18 states were targeted, and security expert Ken Trump says the automated calls seem to... More »

Pull a Swatting Prank, Spend 2 Decades in Jail? Maybe

The bill just passed a committee vote

(Newser) - It's a "potentially lethal" prank that could soon be attached to some pretty serious legal consequences. The Washington Post reports a bill that would make the penalty for swatting—calling in false threats to prompt an armed law enforcement response on unsuspecting victims—up to 20 years in... More »

Fake AP News Tweet Sends Dow Plunging

Hacked account falsely claims White House explosions

(Newser) - Hackers got their hands on AP's Twitter feed today and briefly sent blood pressures racing with an afternoon tweet that President Obama had been injured in a pair of White House explosions, reports the Huffington Post . The real AP tweeted minutes later that it was a hoax and suspended... More »

New Prank Trend: Sic SWAT Teams on Celeb Homes

'Swatting' proving difficult for authorities stamp out

(Newser) - Pranksters' latest hoax of choice: make a fake distress call reporting hostages or armed robbers at an address that happens to belong to a celebrity, thus sending authorities—hopefully a SWAT team—to the star's home. Simon Cowell was the most recent victim of "swatting," with a... More »

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