How a Family Almost Got Shot and Gassed: a Swatting Story

SonOfVoorhees

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So stupid, especially as there could be another urgent call for a real situation that the SWAT could be dealing with. The risk to actually life should make anyone caught doing this sent to prison. I would use the same thing for those miss using the Police, Fire Brigade and Ambulance.
 

gigastar

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Sep 13, 2010
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This is the gaming community. For every one step forward the majority takes, we get dragged two back by the minority.

Darxide said:
BinDipper said:
Question, is "swatting" a thing in anywhere but the U.S.?
I've not heard of any cases outside the U.S.
Is this another symptom of the police-as-military-just-without-the-training culture in the U.S.?
Some French kid was sentenced to 6 months for doing it not long ago. Pretty lenient if you ask me.
Probably not, since hes got a criminal record.

Im no employer, but i am certain i wouldnt hire someone who called in the SWAT (or equivalents) on someone just because they were beaten at a game.
 

Duffy13

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tdylan said:
I didn't watch the video because the article, I think, explains it well enough. My problem with all of these is that yes "how does it get to this point?" I understand a SWAT team reporting to what they believe to be a legitimate threat, but the "barging in the door, safeties off" does not seem like the best approach to me. I understand that it's not like in the movies, but in those tense situations, do they not worry about shooting the wrong person?

For example, let's say that it is legit, and the criminal has hostages. SWAT barges into the room, the criminal is startled, and a frightened hostage sees this as an opportunity to flee. So they do. SWAT sees the hostage, but only recognizes it as "someone moving quickly," so they shoot first, ask questions after. Now we have a dead innocent person because they didn't bother to gather any intel on the room that they were about to break into. Assume these are real threats: shouldn't they at least try to get an idea of how many people are in the room, and how many of them might be threats BEFORE barging in? And also where they are, so that they don't barge into the room and end up getting shot in the back by someone unaccounted for?

Personally, if I'm sitting at my computer when my door kicks in, I don't think "SWAT team," I think "home invasion. I need to protect my wife and daughter." With that state of mind, I'm not apt to comply just because someone is yelling "get down on the floor." In the panic, for all I know, it's a criminal yelling that at me. Assume they also have lights shining in my eyes so I can't identify them as police, and all they see is a guy running toward them. I get gunned down because "we were responding to a call, breached, and a suspect rushed us." That's what makes these type of situations unsettling to me. Some asshole wants to call the police, fine. They show up? Good. They're being prudent. But if I were to call the fire department saying there was a fire, do they kick in the door with hoses going? Or do they assess the situation first so that they know what they're getting into?
The team doesn't breach until they have a plan of action. To the person in the room it might look like a sudden thing, but they did not just show up, run to the door, and kick it in. That said their knowledge is not magically 100%, this isn't the movies. You will also notice that there haven't been any reports of people being shot during one of these, which speaks about SWATs specific and higher training requirements.

There are several different protocols that are used depending on the situation, I am fairly confident the 'pranksters' know which descriptions to use to trigger the desired SWAT response. While these are cases where just sending an officer to check would resolve them what if they weren't lying? What if it had been a situation where the officer knocking on the door get's that officer killed? How do you tell the difference? Just risk it?
 

JarinArenos

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Duffy13 said:
You will also notice that there haven't been any reports of people being shot during one of these, which speaks about SWATs specific and higher training requirements.
There are plenty of incidents of SWAT teams killing innocents. Quite a few of these in raids based on "mistaken information".
 

Karloff

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My question is why are these people going in so heavy based on such limited information. I've never heard of a case like this outside of the U.S. This seems like it is an extremely effective measure to antagonize people because they are going in so heavy and because no one has yet been prosecuted for swatting.

If you give people an effective and brutal way to make people afraid in their own homes with litte or no consequence for doing it then you're going to have a problem. There must be some way of avoiding these things becoming so escalated over a single spoof call.
 

Tortilla the Hun

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May 7, 2011
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Grabehn said:
While I find it extremely sad that some **** would get off by getting someone else raided by the police, it says a lot when the cops in that scenario will go raid a house and point/yell at people first, instead of actually making sure of what's happening.
While it may sound reasonable to get a near-guarantee that the situation is a genuine concern by observing first, you have to consider that if time is a factor they're going to act as swiftly as possible. That means checking every room, every nook and cranny, for any kind of potential threat. They're loud and forceful because in those situations they need to be. In a real situation there is no room for error. That's what they train for. They can't just knock on the door, say they're here to inspect the place, then go into 'Action Mode' when they see that there is a real threat.

tdylan said:
I think Duffy13 explained it well enough, but I think the last sentence in the above paragraph, if not the entire paragraph itself, sums up my thoughts on the matter.
 

Th37thTrump3t

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Every time I see a story on Swatting, I lose more and more hope for humanity. Seriously, who thinks this is a good idea?

Duffy13 said:
You will also notice that there haven't been any reports of people being shot during one of these, which speaks about SWATs specific and higher training requirements.
There was a story a couple weeks ago where some 15 yr old kid swatted someone who beat him in a few games of Battlefield and he swatted the guy, which resulted in the father of the victim being shot and critically wounded. The kid ended up being convicted on two counts of domestic terrorism and was sentenced to 25-life.
 

erbkaiser

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Jun 20, 2009
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BinDipper said:
Question, is "swatting" a thing in anywhere but the U.S.?
I've not heard of any cases outside the U.S.
Is this another symptom of the police-as-military-just-without-the-training culture in the U.S.?
Most other countries don't have an overly militarized police force. US cops in a random small town are better supplied with weapons than most countries' military forces.
 

CrazyGirl17

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Sep 11, 2009
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Gah, what the hell is wrong with some people?! There have to be ways of tracking these assholes down, otherwise I weep for humanity...
 

Tortilla the Hun

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May 7, 2011
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Bolo The Great said:
My question is why are these people going in so heavy based on such limited information. I've never heard of a case like this outside of the U.S. This seems like it is an extremely effective measure to antagonize people because they are going in so heavy and because no one has yet been prosecuted for swatting.

If you give people an effective and brutal way to make people afraid in their own homes with litte or no consequence for doing it then you're going to have a problem. There must be some way of avoiding these things becoming so escalated over a single spoof call.
Well, as was stated earlier in the thread:
AstaresPanda said:
this 16 year old kid recently that got sent down for years for sending SWAT in to some guys CS stream.
Link here

So, there has been a case where the swatter has been caught, but they really have to make themselves known. I've gone over, as have other people, the reasons why the SWAT teams are "going in so heavy" and it's simply because there's no room for error. They need to be prepared for whatever is behind closed doors and the unfortunate thing is that there's no way of knowing. There's a reason they've been operating the way they have for years because it's effective. People are bringing it into question now simply because of these swatters--few would've guessed that people would think to make those kind of "prank" calls.
 

PerfectDeath

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So, I recall watching the twitch stream clip of a streamer who had the SWAT show up during a stream and the footage was caught on webcam.

These are definitely intense situations and while the SWAT officers are well trained, there was one in that stream raid which retorted to the streamer lightly chuckling, "What's so F***ing funny?"

I felt like going in there and decking that idiot officer in the face!

Seriously, when a bunch of armed men with automated guns had pinned you to the ground with firearms trained on you calling you a piece of shit, you panic. This often illicits a forced smile and even some forced laughter to show that you are friendly, a self preservation response to calm the attackers down.
 

FakDendor

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I'd like to point out that this family is German, and to my knowledge lived in Germany. (I could be very wrong, please correct me if so.) Germany also has SWAT teams, and they are very sensitive to threats of this kind (due to incidents they suffered before the formation of GSG9). Thus, this incident isn't reflective of American "police militarization" so much as German sensitivity to terroristic threats on their police force.
 

Karloff

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Mortis Nuncius said:
Bolo The Great said:
My question is why are these people going in so heavy based on such limited information. I've never heard of a case like this outside of the U.S. This seems like it is an extremely effective measure to antagonize people because they are going in so heavy and because no one has yet been prosecuted for swatting.

If you give people an effective and brutal way to make people afraid in their own homes with litte or no consequence for doing it then you're going to have a problem. There must be some way of avoiding these things becoming so escalated over a single spoof call.
Well, as was stated earlier in the thread:
AstaresPanda said:
this 16 year old kid recently that got sent down for years for sending SWAT in to some guys CS stream.
Link here

So, there has been a case where the swatter has been caught, but they really have to make themselves known. I've gone over, as have other people, the reasons why the SWAT teams are "going in so heavy" and it's simply because there's no room for error. They need to be prepared for whatever is behind closed doors and the unfortunate thing is that there's no way of knowing. There's a reason they've been operating the way they have for years because it's effective. People are bringing it into question now simply because of these swatters--few would've guessed that people would think to make those kind of "prank" calls.
Well it's a good think someone got caught. It is a difficult balance to strike. I suppose in the USA people CAN stalk around their house with an assault weapon. Here in the UK the idea of an 'active shooter' with large magazines of ammo and military grade hardware is pretty foreign.

The US police forces have been shown up as very heavy handed of late, it's a discussion to be had rather than a blame game. Swatting needs to be a less attractive as a tool to fuck with people.
 

Tortilla the Hun

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May 7, 2011
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Bolo The Great said:
Mortis Nuncius said:
Bolo The Great said:
My question is why are these people going in so heavy based on such limited information. I've never heard of a case like this outside of the U.S. This seems like it is an extremely effective measure to antagonize people because they are going in so heavy and because no one has yet been prosecuted for swatting.

If you give people an effective and brutal way to make people afraid in their own homes with litte or no consequence for doing it then you're going to have a problem. There must be some way of avoiding these things becoming so escalated over a single spoof call.
Well, as was stated earlier in the thread:
AstaresPanda said:
this 16 year old kid recently that got sent down for years for sending SWAT in to some guys CS stream.
Link here

So, there has been a case where the swatter has been caught, but they really have to make themselves known. I've gone over, as have other people, the reasons why the SWAT teams are "going in so heavy" and it's simply because there's no room for error. They need to be prepared for whatever is behind closed doors and the unfortunate thing is that there's no way of knowing. There's a reason they've been operating the way they have for years because it's effective. People are bringing it into question now simply because of these swatters--few would've guessed that people would think to make those kind of "prank" calls.
Well it's a good think someone got caught. It is a difficult balance to strike. I suppose in the USA people CAN stalk around their house with an assault weapon. Here in the UK the idea of an 'active shooter' with large magazines of ammo and military grade hardware is pretty foreign.

The US police forces have been shown up as very heavy handed of late, it's a discussion to be had rather than a blame game. Swatting needs to be a less attractive as a tool to fuck with people.
I agree. I think this is one of those "damned if you do, damned if you don't" scenarios. Having a system in place where you can call the police to respond to a situation quickly is great and useful, but too easy to abuse. Then there's the matter of investigation. Time, money, and peace of mind have already been wasted on responding to prank calls, then to use even more resources to find the caller becomes a concern. But those kind of people can't be left to keep doing what they're doing, so they've got that mess to deal with. I certainly don't envy the people in charge of making those decisions.
 

tdylan

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Mortis Nuncius said:
certainly don't envy the people in charge of making those decisions.
I think is gets even muddier when you consider that there will be people arguing: "tracking down prank callers? Well I'm glad to see you wasting my tax dollars!" But if they don't, this continues, and enough innocent people are hurt as a result, the cry will be "instead of spending my tax payer dollars to kick in the doors of innocent people, why weren't you finding the ones making the calls, and kicking in their doors?"
 

geizr

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I'm sure others have said something to this effect: the SWAT team has to go in heavily armed in preparation for the worst of situations. That's what they're trained to deal with. There's no way, a priori, for them to be able to know if a situation is real or falsified, and it is extremely difficult to ascertain the nature of a situation behind closed doors, shuttered windows, and walls. So, they simply have to be prepared for the worst.

Now, having said that, I do feel that the real way of stopping this kind of thing is to turn the consequences back on the perpetrator of the false report. Basically, the authorities need to be able to trace, track, and identify the person calling in the SWAT. What I'm saying is there needs to be direct and immediate consequences for falsified reporting. This is not a game. Unfortunately, the people who do this likely don't have the maturity to understand that and don't have the maturity to figure out that their actions are hurting others. They only care about doing what they want, when they want, to whomever they want, however they want, and no one better say shit against it. They're completely insular, self-absorbed, ego-centric, and childish. They're sociopaths, and no amount of logic or convincing will turn their minds. Nothing short of turning the pain right back at them will make them see that people don't appreciate this kind of thing. And even then, I doubt they'll see it as more than "nobody ever let's me have any fun...boo hoo!"; in other words, they won't learn a damn thing. They'll just get mad back at you for not letting them do what they want to do. They'll never understand, nor care about, the pain and suffering they cause others.

I know that may sound harsh, but, in my opinion, it takes a truly deviant and disturbed mind (or one that simply was never taught better) to honestly think that creating a situation in which a person and his/her family is put in severe danger and subjected to intense emotional trauma is fun and entertaining. They would not think it fun if it happened to them, but they do think it fun if it happens to others. The only possibility I could ever see to lighten my disgust at someone doing this would be to learn that they really are just that stupid and didn't know any better; that their parents really failed so spectacularly to instill within them an ability to think how one's actions can and do affect others. However, while that would lighten my disgust, it would not lighten my opinion that these people need to be severely punished for their actions. A child needs to have it made known to them, swiftly, decisively, and unambiguously, that their bad behavior is wrong and will not be tolerated, and that it is not a point open for negotiation or entreatment.


Here's one thing I always think about whenever I'm on the Internet, and I'll admit, I, like many, had my troll days, too. However, one must always keep in mind that there is another human being on the other side of that screen, and your words, for good or ill, has a direct affect on that person. The rules of human social interaction and etiquette still apply, 100%, even when on online. If the behavior you have online is not the kind of behavior you would have in real life toward another person directly in front of you, then you need to seriously consider changing your behavior online to be more like your behavior in real life. Emotions are real, even online. The hurt is real, even online.

I would bet that many of the trolls online are some of the nicest, most mousy type personalities you could ever meet, because they are terrified of getting the shit kicked out of them for pissing someone else off. And that's part of the problem is that there is no direct danger of consequences (or severe enough consequences) for bad behavior online. So, these people unleash their frustrations online and lash out at others. But again, if you are able to figure out that engaging bad behavior in real life would cause people to become pissed at you, why, then, is it such a stretch to think the same about being online? Sure, you might not get beat-up for it, but you still pissed someone off. If you cared about it in real life, you should care about it online, in my opinion, precisely for the reason that, online, you are still interacting with actual, living human beings. The words you see onscreen are not just random generated text from an unfeeling computer. Another person typed those words. Another person is attempting to express their thoughts and feelings in those words. Their words have an effect on you, and your words have an effect on them. If you wouldn't say it or do it in real life to the person's face, don't say it or do it online.

Apologies for the sudden rant. I won't say my opinion here is the best or most correct, but this sort of thing is really disgusting. And for those people trying to pass it off as not an issue for the gaming community, honestly, stop trying to hide in the fantasy ideal that your beloved gaming world is a pristine utopia of perfect existence. The gaming community has some serious sociopathic and general behavioral issues. As far as I know, this sort of thing doesn't seem to happen in any other circle. We, as gamers, need to be willing to face the fact that the community contains some severely sociopathic, reprehensible, and deviant elements, and we need to be the ones to take charge to clean-up our community such to eliminate these elements (or at least reduce them to the point that the behaviors we have seen are not so prevalent as they are). We need to be the ones to make it clear that bad behavior of this sort will not be tolerated within our community. If that gets us labelled as SJWs or whatever else, then so be it. However, we as a community must choose which is more important to us, a community of like-minded individuals who seek to create a safe, comfortable environment for fun interaction and socialization with others with gaming as a platform, or avoiding being called names that have long since lost any real meaning cause they're over-abused to only mean "you disagree with me and won't let me just do what I want".
 

Zetatrain

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May 1, 2020
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BinDipper said:
Question, is "swatting" a thing in anywhere but the U.S.?
I've not heard of any cases outside the U.S.
Is this another symptom of the police-as-military-just-without-the-training culture in the U.S.?
erbkaiser said:
Most other countries don't have an overly militarized police force. US cops in a random small town are better supplied with weapons than most countries' military forces.
Matthi205 said:
In most other countries, police forces aren't allowed that heavy armament.
I don't think that militarization of the police force is a factor as much as some people think at least in the case of swatting.
Most countries do indeed have their own equivalent of SWAT.

Just to name a few

Britain: SO19
Canada: ERT (Emergency Response Team)
France: RAID
Germany: SEK
Belgium: CGSU
Finland: Karhu Team/Bear Team
Australia: SPG or TOU

While the average USA police officer is armed more than his/her foreign counterparts, SWAT units and their equivalents are not your average police officer.
 

Karloff

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shirkbot said:
geizr said:
Mortis Nuncius said:
Zetatrain said:
I don't think that militarization of the police force is a factor as much as some people think at least in the case of swatting.
Most countries do indeed have their own equivalent of SWAT.

Just to name a few

Britain: SO19
Canada: ERT (Emergency Response Team)
France: RAID
Germany: GSG-9
Belgium: CGSU
Finland: Karhu Team/Bear Team
Australia: SPG or TOU

While the average USA police officer is more heavily armed than his/her foreign counterparts, SWAT units and their equivalents are not your average police officer.
Well that only makes the question "why doesn't this happen outside of the U.S.?" more interesting.
Are the SWAT teams being deployed too eagerly? Is it really a good idea to deploy such force for an isolated unconfirmed call? Why isn't police work being done to confirm these suspect reports before such force is used?

This issue has really bugged me since I heard the story of Bounkham ?Bou Bou? Phonesavanh, a one year old who had a hole blown in his chest by a concussion grenade during a raid prompted by false information. It makes me wonder, do they do any actual police work before knocking down the door and pointing guns at everybody?

I can't think of any reason why this only happens in the states, besides a gung-ho, dirty harry, shoot first do actual police work later culture.
 

RedDeadFred

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May 13, 2009
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castlewise said:
I don't want to go on too much of a rant, but the Escapist and other videogame news outlets aren't helping by reporting these things. The idiots who do these hoaxes want to be noticed. Letting something they did run amok all over the news sites just makes them feel more powerful.
I agree completely. This is the very definition of feeding the trolls. The more attention this gets, the more popular it's going to become and that's a very scary thing.
 

Roxas1359

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Aug 8, 2009
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FakDendor said:
I'd like to point out that this family is German, and to my knowledge lived in Germany. (I could be very wrong, please correct me if so.)
The creator of the video lives in the United States. He said so on his channel in reply to someone who asked him. So no, he was in the US when this happened, and never had something like this happen in Germany to him.