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

happyninja42

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BinDipper said:
Interesting, thanks for the additional info.
Reading those articles I can't see any mention of them actually entering the property, perhaps the ARS makes some on-site attempts to confirm the report before breeching the property?
Would be cool if I knew someone in the ARS to ask.
Don't they have a Public Relations office that you could find the contact number for and ask? I'd be surprised to learn they don't have somebody on site to answer random questions from the public about various regulations, laws, procedures and stuff. The stuff that is public knowledge, but not necessarily easily obtained knowledge.


I mean when I was like 12, I called the nuclear power plant in our area and asked them if it blew up, how far of an explosion would it make. I asked because we had "Fallout Evacuation" signs in my city, telling us which roads to use to get away from the radiation area. And at that age, I recalled from movies and my science classes that explosions are pretty fast, and is there even any point in trying to run from here.

So I called them, and they hooked me up with some guy who patiently explained to me that the uranium in the plant wasn't of the right type to blow up like a bomb, and that it would be a cloud like exposure, not a big boom. I thanked him for his information and hung up.

I bet you could call the ARS and politely ask them, due to recent news articles about police breeches due to false reports, you had questions about when and how they were permitted to burst in with guns up and when they weren't. It's a reasonable question for someone to ask, and as far as I can tell wouldn't be breaking any security protocols to tell you. Give them a call and see what they say, you might be surprised.
 

Karloff

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Happyninja42 said:
Don't they have a Public Relations office that you could find the contact number for and ask? I'd be surprised to learn they don't have somebody on site to answer random questions from the public about various regulations, laws, procedures and stuff. The stuff that is public knowledge, but not necessarily easily obtained knowledge.
Being just another department within the police one would just have to go through the regular police channels. Perhaps I will when I get home from work.
 

michael87cn

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Jan 12, 2011
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I feel like spreading around these stories is going to increase the people who want to do it to others...

right now you can read a ton of posts that basically say "what is wrong with people?" but right now im sure several people are grinning to themselves and thinking they can't wait to do this to someone.

simply put, there are people out there that are evil.
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

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Flames66 said:
Nobody is saying they are untraceable. What they are saying is you get a cheap, disposable phone and SIM card and make the call from somewhere other than where you live. Once you are done dispose of the phone and SIM and you're done. How do you intend to trace that call?
You have to provide valid ID (driver's license) when buying a mobile phone. Cops check the number that made the call, run it back to the provider, then to the store where it was bought and then they have the troll's real name and home address.
 

PirateRose

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michael87cn said:
I feel like spreading around these stories is going to increase the people who want to do it to others...

right now you can read a ton of posts that basically say "what is wrong with people?" but right now im sure several people are grinning to themselves and thinking they can't wait to do this to someone.

simply put, there are people out there that are evil.
But if you ask me, ignoring the problem will still allow it to spread around. Do you really think the people doing this aren't bragging to their friends? They aren't bragging in private forums? It'll become a fad whether the general public brings attention to it or waits til every other house and school are being swatted cause bored teen boys think it's funny.

If there isn't a consequence to this behavior, more people will do it. More people will brazenly do it thinking they can not be touched, that no one will care, and that everyone does it so it's cool.
 

SexyGarfield

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008Zulu said:
SexyGarfield said:
Pray tell how does one trace a freshly activated cellphone that was bought with cash? I am not saying you're wrong I just don't see a way. I have bought one and used it for a while when I lost my phone and I never had to use any identifying information.
Well, when you pay for a phone, even with cash, you are required to provide a valid ID; driver's license, etc before they sell it to you.
Unless this is a brand new law (within the past 6 months) or is only a local law that effects your state/county/city (do you live in Puerto Rico? They passed an ID law for prepaided cellphones.) then I am going to call bullshit. Upon googling I can only come up with two news articles from 2010 about Sen. Charles E. Schumer and Sen. John Cornyn trying to create a bill requiring an ID but none of them have a name or number for the bill. This leads me to believe it was either voted down or never even came to a vote.
 

geizr

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BinDipper said:
There's a big difference between treating a single report seriously and taking a single report as gospel. I'm not blaming the SWAT teams per-se, obviously the ultimate responsibility lays at the feet of the prankster. But for the SWAT teams to put themselves in a position where they are so easily pranked just seems silly to me.
Like if I wanted to rob a bank, I could just call in a fake murder/hostage confession and boom, I've got a couple of hours to rob said bank without having to worry about SWAT teams showing up.
This is my point about putting more into the backend. It's exactly the idea of making it less likely that SWAT would be pranked simply because of the greater likelihood of severe repercussions for the prankster. Pranksters pull pranks only when they know they can get away with it without the prank turning back on them. If there is a greater likelihood that they'll get caught and suffer severely for it, then they're more likely to think twice about pulling such a stunt.

I don't know how it is in the U.K., but here in the U.S., unfortunately, a man killing his family and holding a couple hostages at gun point can quickly escalate into an entire neighborhood gets murdered. We've had too many incidents in which a small matter blows up very quickly because, well, sometimes people here can be that unstable.

EDIT: minor correction for grammar.
 

SexyGarfield

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Flames66 said:
SexyGarfield said:
From what I understand, as long as the officer has a legal right to be in a place where he can detect contraband it is all good to press charges. Responding to a possible threat gives them the right as terrible as that is.

The Plain Sight Doctrine said:
If a law enforcement officer has a legal right to be in plain sight or can smell parts of illegal contraband, they have the right to seize the contraband or evidence and arrest individuals. However, if an officer finds the items illegally, contraband may be seized, but cannot be used as evidence in criminal courts.
That leaves the whole system open to abuse and is a hole that needs to be plugged.
I agree a thousand times over but this loophole has been around for a long time and unless you feel like starting up a PAC then I doubt it will change.
 

Flames66

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Aug 22, 2009
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008Zulu said:
Flames66 said:
Nobody is saying they are untraceable. What they are saying is you get a cheap, disposable phone and SIM card and make the call from somewhere other than where you live. Once you are done dispose of the phone and SIM and you're done. How do you intend to trace that call?
You have to provide valid ID (driver's license) when buying a mobile phone. Cops check the number that made the call, run it back to the provider, then to the store where it was bought and then they have the troll's real name and home address.
I have never provided ID to buy a telephone and would refuse if asked. I am not from the USA though so I don't understand how things work there. Is that a law or just something that companies do? Can anyone else from America confirm it?
 

Strazdas

Robots will replace your job
May 28, 2011
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BinDipper said:
Strazdas said:
Sadly no, i dont stockpile links of every news story i read and im sure your as good at google as i am.
If I could find it on google I wouldn't be asking you.
Any identifying details you remember from said story?
He was living alone in UK and was doxxed while playing heartstone. there may or many not be somone he was talking to at the time that police didnt turn off but im not sure if im not mixing it with something else.
 

Karloff

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geizr said:
This is my point about putting more into the backend. It's exactly the idea of making it less likely that SWAT would be pranked simply because of the greater likelihood of severe repercussions for the prankster. Pranksters pull pranks only when they know they can get away with it without the prank turning back on them. If there is a greater likelihood that they'll get caught and suffer severely for it, then they're more likely to think twice about pulling such a stunt.
But in the example I gave I'm already going to rob a bank so a couple of extra years jail-time on my already potential life sentence isn't going to bother me.
You can put more accountability into the back end, that's fine. But the SWAT teams are still in a position where they can be easily hoaxed and criminals can still take advantage of that.

geizr said:
I don't know how it is in the U.K., but here in the U.S., unfortunately, a man killing his family and holding a couple hostages at gun point can quickly escalate into an entire neighborhood gets murdered. We've had too many incidents in which a small matter blows up very quickly because, well, sometimes people here can be that unstable.
Admittedly the prevalence of commercial firearms in the U.S. does make things more difficult. But I still think for the SWAT teams to put themselves in a position where they are so easily and predictably hoaxed is a failing on their part.
 

Redlin5_v1legacy

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I felt pretty sick listening to that video. Just, wow...

I wonder if something like this has happened in Canada yet.
 

geizr

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BinDipper said:
[
But in the example I gave I'm already going to rob a bank so a couple of extra years jail-time on my already potential life sentence isn't going to bother me.
You can put more accountability into the back end, that's fine. But the SWAT teams are still in a position where they can be easily hoaxed and criminals can still take advantage of that.
Sorry, I missed your example. However, I don't think a typical prankster has in mind to pull a prank and then rob a bank. That combination just doesn't generally happen, as far as I know. Generally, I would expect someone who's decided they're going to rob a bank to be of a more stern or desperate mentality that just wouldn't be given to taking time to pull a prank before engaging their primary goal of robbing the bank. Maybe you know examples that I don't of such persons, though.

Regardless, having more information and access to more information is how you keep from getting hoaxed in the first place. Obtaining such information is the kind of thing you do on the backend before the SWAT team even gets to the scene. Getting the information after you've committed forces to the scene is already too late; the hoax and it's intended effect would have already occurred. Hence, tracking, tracing, and identification.

You can't eliminate hoaxes, entirely. That's like trying to eliminate being hacked. All you can do is make it harder and have means of managing the situation when it occurs. In the case of physical crimes, such as SWATTING someone, one can additionally setup deterrents, such as increased risk of getting caught and suffering severe consequences, to further reduce the possibility of such occurrences. Nothing is 100%, of course. Anyone truly bound and determined to SWAT someone, no matter what you do, will try harder not to get caught. That's the usual response of the truly hardened criminally-minded.