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Right-wing podcaster Tim Pool gets ‘swatted’ while live on air

‘Swatting’ can have deadly consequences

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Monday 10 January 2022 23:37 GMT
Broadcaster Tim Pool gets "swatted" live on air

Right-wing podcaster Tim Pool is the latest high-profile victim of “swatting”, when pranksters call in false emergency situations to police in the hopes that their targets suffer a shock police raid.

Officers from the Washington County, Maryland, sheriff’s office conducted an emergency search on Thursday inside the commentator’s home studio during a live recording of his Timcast IRL podcast, after being called on reports two people had been shot and the shooter was considering self-harm.

“We’ve been swatted. I am extremely unhappy with this,” he said as officers entered the Maryland mansion where he tapes his programme, according to video of the show.

“I do not like cops coming into my house when we have mats all over the place. They come back with a warrant. I do not know who let them in or why. I understand they’re here because we got swatted.”

Mr Pool said the officers were polite, but condemned the prank caller for sending them to his home on emergency footing where someone could’ve gotten hurt, writing that “this is a large house used as a production studio with many employees on site”.

Maryland police confirmed they had searched the broadcaster’s residence around 8:15pm that night, and that a member of the Maryland State Police told them while they were en route the call could’ve been a “swatting” incident.

“A check was conducted, and it was verified that no one was hurt or threatening suicide. Upon completion of the check of the address, Deputies exited the property,” county police wrote in a statement.

Other public figures like pop stars Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, as well as gun safety activist David Hogg, have been swatted in the past. In 2017, a 28-year-old Andrew Finch was killed during a swatting call gone wrong. Previous swatting cases in Maryland have resulted in multi-year prison sentences.

Pool, a former Vice News journalist and self-described “disaffected liber”, has attracted an audience of millions as a conservative backer of Donald Trump, and was identified in a report from election-integrity groups as a “superspreader” of false information about the 2020 presidential race.

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