“Swatting” More Than Just Flies

“Swatting” has taken on a new meaning in 2014. Just ask 15-year-old Paul Horner. A judge sentenced Paul to twenty-five years to life in federal prison for domestic terrorism. This is the not the first case of swatting, but Paul is the first person in history to be charged with swatting.

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Unfortunately swatting has been becoming a common trend in which a person anonymously files a false/fake police report with intentions of getting the police to raid the said individuals home, and or business. These threats can range from several different levels of severity, but most commonly the threat is involving a murder, or a bomb threat. Paul took swatting to a critical forum when he called the police on a rival gamer. Paul was aiming to get the police to react, well they did. The call resulting in SWAT teams raiding the home of the enemy gamer.

 
Swatting is prevalent in the minds, and fields of gamers. This is true because of those gamers who “livestream” are making themselves vulnerable to others. If and when another gamer finds the IP address and residential address of an enemy gamer, they can now call in dangerous, potential life threatening, calls to the police. This is not only dangerous to the neighbors, and surrounding citizens, this affects the entire community. By forcing the police squads, SWAT teams and in this case helicopters and air patrol, it creates a loss of resources for “real” threats. It also closes down streets, and ultimately puts innocent lives in danger. This is an act of terrorism.

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Paul goes by the game name BadAssDwg69. What sparked the call was that Paul was continually being beat by a fellow gamer. So much so that when he obtained the other gamers information he decided to make the call. Paul called police and said, “I just shot and killed four people. If any police enter my home I will kill them too.” SWAT raided the house shooting, and critically injuring the opposing gamer’s father.

 
Judge Digsby, the judge that prosecuted Paul finished his sentencing by stating “Leave your petty pride in the realm of digital fantasy where it is still safe, because, as young mister Horner has learned, actions in the real world don’t have a reset button. And every parent should make sure their children understand that.” Paul is now serving twenty-five years to life in federal prison at the age of fifteen.

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4 thoughts on ““Swatting” More Than Just Flies

  1. I have only recently become aware of what swatting is. My old roommate plays a lot of online games and he showed me a video a few weeks ago of a victim whose home was raided in the middle of a live stream. When he explained it to me I thought he was joking. I don’t get why anyone would think this is funny. I’m all for an innocent prank, but I would think that whoever is making the false claim would know that what they are doing is EXTREMELY illegal and that it would result in jail time. Whatever the reason behind it, I think it’s incredibly stupid.

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  2. The gamers that carry out these pranks should definitely be aware of their illegality, but I feel that locking up a 15-year-old boy in prison for potentially his whole life is way too harsh of a sentence.

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  3. I never really heard of swatting until now. I can’t believe how outrageous that is. It’s actually disappointing to witness the lengths people will go to because they’re being a sore loser. Getting police and SWAT teams involved is such a shame when their time and skills can be used elsewhere in ACTUAL life threatening situations. That being said, I agree with the comment above. 25 years to life in prison seems cruel.

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  4. I’m a gamer myself, but not the typical console games. I play MMOs. These things aren’t unheard of. Many people get daily threats and even killed over the dumbest things in game. I’d like to say I’m surprised by this, but honestly, it’s just another extension of the ridiculous gamer fan base. It’s terrible that this happens and hopefully these morons who do this are caught and brought in for justice. Not only do they hurt a person, but also waste tax payer money.

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