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Sore Loser in Video Game Sends SWAT Team To Opponent's Home

SWAT teams are increasingly being used as pawns in pranks by angry video gamers as who make bogus calls.

Photo from Long Beach Patch Post
Photo from Long Beach Patch Post

by Heather Doyle

Long Beach, New York – City and county SWAT teams responded to a hostage call Tuesday afternoon, but the 911 call turned out to be a horrible prank stemming from a video game, according to multiple reports.

A man called Long Beach Police at around 3 p.m. and reported that "he had shot members of his family and was threatening to kill others," according to CBS.

The call sent officers swarming around the Laurelton Boulevard home, prepared for hostage negotiations.

When police entered the home, however, they found no one was injured and a 17-year-old man playing a video game on the internet.

The call was made to Long Beach authorities by a 17-year-old's opponent who was reportedly angered that he lost a Call of Duty game. The act, which has been coined as "swatting," has become an issue for law enforcement nationwide.

In this … bizarre world of Swatting, you get points for the helicopter, for the police cars, for the SWAT team, for the type of entry,” LBPD Chief Michael Tangney told CBS.

“It’s very sophisticated," he added. "Unfortunately, it’s very dangerous."

"When they're playing video games, if they lose during the game they try to get information on their opponents," Tangney told WABC, saying "swatting" has become somewhat of an epidemic across the country.

"If they do get the information, they call the police and identify themselves as that person and say that they killed somebody so that the police get this response."

Police are hunting for the sore loser who made the call to police and he could face criminal charges as well as a very large bill for the police resources wasted on the phony emergency.

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John Strother April 24, 2014 at 08:38 AM
with caller ID they should be able to point to the caller. Sorry but an out of state telephone number should be a tip off.
Eddie April 24, 2014 at 08:52 AM
The caller used Skype, via the Internet, and will probably never be found if he took certain precautions unless he's running his mouth about this prank.
Bob West April 24, 2014 at 06:20 PM
@ eddie, I wouldn't mention any specific phone-calling service in case any other arseholes are looking for tips. But for better or worse, those calls are traceable. They have "add-ons" that can fool your friends, but certainly not the NSA. BTW, that phone service was bought by Microsoft a couple of years ago- so much for any illusion of confidentiality. By using it, you "opt in" to give up your privacy, just like with G-mail. Using a computer to make a prank call is a dumb move in itself. Any computer transmits a wealth of information. Non-smart phones are a lot less traceable than anything else. Have you ever seen how many items advertisers and other web sites use to uniquely identify your computer? They can't tell your name but track your unique computer. It's called "computer fingerprinting." As soon as you give your name at a web site they track, they've got you. Check this site sometime to see how unique your computer is-- https://panopticlick.eff.org/ .... I suspect that nobody's putting much effort into tracing this call, because in the big scheme of things, they've got more serious things to deal with. (Unfortunately, unlike our local PDs.) Shame this idiot got so much publicity from his crime. I think the glorifying news "perp walk" should be stopped in virtually all cases.

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