They call it a “prank” or a “hoax”, but it’s actually a fraudulent call to law enforcement with intent to have an innocent person or persons killed under color and claim of official right.
The family of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student activist David Hogg was the victim of a “swatting” incident Tuesday morning.
A SWAT team responded to a call just after 8:30 a.m. of a barricaded subject at Hogg’s residence. The caller said there was a person with a weapon inside of the home, Broward County Sheriff’s spokesman Joy Oglesby told CNN.
The call was later determined to be a hoax.No one was at home at the time of the incident, Oglesby said. Hogg and his family are in Washington D.C to accept the RFK Humanitarian Award.Swatting is usually done by computer hackers, gamers or people skilled in online and smartphone communications as a prank. They make a false report of a serious crime in progress, resulting in police making a major show of force on innocent, unsuspecting people.
Imagine this …
Two guys are playing an online computer game. They get angry with each other. One guy threatens to have the other swatted, that is, he will make a false report to the police so they will show up ready to kill. The other guy dares him to and gives him a fake address.
The guy who threatened the swatting contacts another guy in California who is ruthless, has a history of making false police reports and bomb threats, and takes pride in doing it. The swatter who is in California, makes a false police report to Wichita, Kansas.
It ends with an innocent 28-year old father being killed. His children no longer have a father.
Now, don’t imagine it. It is true.
Tyler Barris in Court
Tyler Barris was the swatter. On December 28, 2017, he made a false police report that he was in the house…
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Cross posted from Stop Cyber Abuse
On January 3, 2018, I predicted that if Kansas has felony murder law, that Tyler Barriss would be charged for the death of Andrew Finch.
I’ve been following and posting about this case. It is another demonstration for how cyber abuse crosses the line of the internet into the personal and private lives of victims, causing harm emotionally, physically and in this case, resulting in death.
Tyler Barriss made a call reporting that he killed his father, was holding his mom and little brother hostage, had poured gasoline throughout the house and was planning to set it on fire. He gave 911 dispatch an address. It was not his address. Barriss was making a swatting call. Andrew Finch, the man at the address, heard noise outside the house and opened his front door. He was shot dead by a Wichita police officer.
Barriss, who is 25-years old, was still on the phone with dispatch after Andrew was shot. Andrew was unarmed and uninvolved in the events leading to Barriss’ false police report. Andrew was 28-years old and the father of two children. Read the rest of this entry
There was a swatting incident on December 30, 2017 in Wichita, Kansas. I’ve been reporting on it on my other blog. Some of you might already know that my other blog deals solely with cyber abuse, whether harassment, stalking, swatting, threats, spoofing, or combinations.
Today after reading some articles and comments on Twitter about the most recent swatting incident, I asked myself if there is anything I could have done to make information more available; to inform the public that spill-over of internet harassment into the personal lives of target victims is dangerous. However, as with other issues, people don’t seem to take an interest unless major media reports it first or unless it happens to them. Then too, I’m only a drop of water in a vast ocean.
Swatting is a prank where someone makes a call to a police department with a false story of a happening crime involving killing or hostages and guns. Police arrive and at times, SWAT is dispatched.
In order to pull-off the prank, an address is needed and that is generally obtained by doxing targets. Doxing is the seeking and gathering of personal information of others to use to harass, cause them fear and distress, post publicly on the internet, and yes — to swat or encourage others to do so.
On November 23, 2014, I blogged about a civil case filed in Northern Illinois that involved swatting. The plaintiff in that case was awarded $50,000 by a jury.
On February 9. 2015, I blogged about a case where a Nevada man swatted a resident of Naperville, IL and was extradited to Illinois for prosecution. The State’s Attorney stated that he would seek legislation to make swatting a felony.
On May 20, 2015, I recapped those two cases in another blog post about a couple arrested for harassment by eletronic media.
In August 2017, I wrote a post about a Bill introduced by Representatives Katherine Clark (D-MA), Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Patrick Meehan (R-PA). The Bill is H.R. 3067 and is titled the Online Safety Modernization Act of 2017. If passed, it will make swatting and doxing federal crimes.
Now that the father of a 2-year old and 7-year old is dead because of a swatting prank, Kansas.com, the Post Gazette, and the New York Times among other news sources, are reporting on the introduced Bill and asking the question, who is at blame for Andrew Finch’s death? Read the rest of this entry