Disgruntled 'Call of Duty' gamer sends 70-man SWAT team to opponent's house
The hoaxer faked a phone call from his opponent's house claiming that the 17-year-old had killed his mother
Thursday 24 April 2014
An intense session of online gaming turned nasty when armed police and a SWAT team were called to the house of 17-year-old Rafael Castillo in Long Island, New York.
Thankfully, the authorities weren’t responding to any real life violence but were instead the victims of a prank carried out on Castillo by a disgruntled opponent on the video game ‘Call of Duty’.
The police had received a call around 3pm from someone claiming to be Castillo saying he had shot members of his family. "I just killed my mother and I might shoot more people" the hoax caller reportedly said.
The police responded with helicopters, and ambulance and a fully armed SWAT team but upon arrival at the house they only found Castillo, still playing video games, and his 54-year-old mother, unharmed and making coffee in the kitchen.
Rafael said "I thought there was a fire at my house. I ran up and saw my mom running out, I didn't know what was going on.
"Then one of the police officers said somebody called and said that the mother and brother of somebody in this house was killed. I said, 'How is that possible if she's right there and I'm right here?'"
Police said that the hoax was the latest example of ‘swatting’ – the practice of faking emergency calls from a victim’s house, often used as a form of retribution after losing a game online.
“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,” Michael Tagney, Long Beach police commissioner, told CBS News. “It’s very sophisticated. Unfortunately, it’s very dangerous.”
The term was first used by the FBI in 2008 and there have been a number of notable ‘swatting’ incidents in the US with police called to the homes of Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Clint Eastwood and Tom Cruise.
The authorities in the US are currently looking for the hoaxer who made the call over the internet. If found he could face criminal charges as well as footing the bill for the police response.
Life & Style blogs
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
- 1 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 3 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
- 4 John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time
- 5 Kanye West stops concert after two fans don't stand up - doesn't realise one is in wheelchair and the other disabled
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...
£400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently seekin...
£45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsf...