No, a kid wasn’t sentenced to 25 years for Swatting

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Swat

You may have heard the story about the most recent bout of Swatting; the frankly stupid prank where people who stream games have their homes or offices raided thanks to idiots who convince authorities that said locations are dens of domestic terrorism or wayward hostage situations. The last one made big news because it was captured thanks to Twitch streaming, showing Counter Strike streamer Jordan “Kootra” Mathewson handcuffed and manhandled by police.

You may have also seen a recent report that the perpetrator of this particular offense was summarily, and hastily sentenced to 25 years in prison under the charge of Domestic Terrorism. Here’s what an article by National Report said:

What many teenagers these days are considering a harmless prank, has landed one online gamer in more trouble than he could have ever imagined. In a Louisiana courtroom today, 15-year-old Paul Horner broke down in tears after a judge found the young man guilty on two counts of domestic terrorism and was sentenced to twenty-five years to life in federal prison.

Horner is the first person in history to be charged with what is known as ‘swatting‘, a growing trend in which a person anonymously files a false police report, such as a murder or bomb threat, in hopes of provoking the police to raid an individual’s home or business. Prosecutors in the case proved that Horner called in multiple false threats against rival online gamers, resulting in SWAT team raids of their residence.

The story, which circled the drains of social media this weekend, is unfortunately not true. While I’d love for one of these punks who waste resources like this to be made an example of, the whole report is a hoax. Of course, the fact that its original source is the satirical site National Report is a dead giveaway.

“It is our opinion that if a person is too lazy to check for multiple references [or at least one other source] … and they spread misinformation around as fact, then they are to blame for their own stupidity, not us,” said National Report’s Allen Montgomery.

So no, a kid was not sentenced to 25 years for perpetrating a Swatting prank; though hopefully enough little punks believe it to be true to stop this stupidity. If you haven’t seen it, here’s the original video showing Kootra being Swatted.

Last Updated: September 2, 2014

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • PERSONA 5!!!! (Umar)

    The magnitude of human stupidity never ceases to amaze me…

    • Hammersteyn

      Ea makes a billion out of DLC. Stupidity proven

      • Admiral Chief Assassin

        I want to laugh, but it is too sad

        • Lord Chaos

          Then laugh so much you cry. Problem solved.

          • Admiral Chief Assassin

            *grabs box of tissues*
            WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

          • Lord Chaos

            I hope those tissues are for tears and not for use after your battle cry.

          • Kensei Seraph

            How else is he going to wipe the blood of EA execs off of his face?

          • Admiral Chief Assassin

            LOOOOL

            FUS RO YOURFACEISOFF

          • Admiral Chief Assassin

            That is not a battle cry or a “oooooh” cry, those are tears dude

      • ZubSaber a.k.a Hans

        ‘Murica!

  • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

    what utter stupidity!?!?!?

    • Lord Chaos

      You sound surprised.

      • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

        I am. I know I shouldn’t be but I am constantly surprised by the depths of human stupidity.

        The person who calls in the prank SHOULD be charged with criminal charges. Really. Stop this shit right here.

        • Lord Chaos

          If only we could find a way to generate energy from human stupidity not only would we be rich, but the world will have an infinite supply of power.

          • Admiral Chief Assassin

            Amen brudda

          • Admiral Chief Assassin

            Every time they have a stupid idea it generates 1 Watt of energy…world energy crisis resolved in 3 hours

          • Lord Chaos

            And that’s only if it’s implemented in SA, never mind the rest of the world.

          • Spaffy

            You meant to say parliament.

          • Lord Chaos

            So true.

          • Admiral Chief Assassin

            Indeed. In parliament you would generate enough for 15 years for the whole country by merely hooking up certain party members for one sitting

          • Dutch Matrix

            That would imply that parliament could have a lightbulb moment… And you and I both know the odds of that are slim.

          • Admiral Chief Assassin

            Not too sure about that, not a lot of ideas generated…

            😛

          • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

            Hoozah!

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            I think Eskom has proven that to be impossible.

          • Kromas of City17

            Hey … I am helping to build the second largest power station in the world here in Witbank and Eskom has been nothing but flowers and sunshine.

            Except they changed the plans twice.

            And they stopped work half way cause of some “small issue”

            And the striking.

            Okay nevermind … continue with your thoughts.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            “thoughts”? More than one? That’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me 😉

          • Kromas of City17

            Well … “I am hungry” and “my poop bucket is full … I should probably empty it” are valid thoughts. 😛

        • Alien Emperor Trevor
          • Admiral Chief Assassin

            *ginormous facepalm*

          • Lord Chaos

            Hope you didn’t break your nose.

          • Admiral Chief Assassin

            Slapped my forehead so hard it has a palm print

          • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

            Wow… Just.. just wow

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          If I remember correctly people who get caught doing this kind of crap get slapped with a massive bill for wasted time & resources.

          • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

            Should serve some jail time too.

        • Anonymous

          Far as I know it is a criminal offense (definitely in South Africa); but that is half the problem the Police force over reaction is the other problem. If they handle these situation properly there will not be a hoo ha about it.

          • Spaffy

            In SA the police probably won’t show anyway

          • Hammersteyn

            We have police?

          • Kensei Seraph

            They’re the people you pay when you get pulled over to avoid the hassle of a fine.

          • Hammersteyn

            Oh those guys…

          • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

            The problem is that if it’s a case of alleged terrorism they can’t take it easy. It may seem like an over reaction but in cases of alleged terrorism? Can they afford not to take these things seriously?

            But I do hear you. They really should try validate first.

          • Anonymous

            They should respond and investigate but if this is real situation (hostage, bomb threat) running around loaded in one hand and cock in the other is probably the worst thing you can do. Just show that they are over equipped and under trained.

          • Lord Chaos

            Yea, but in ‘murica they have to be over equipped, else there will most certainly be a rerun of this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Hollywood_shootout

          • Anonymous

            Well the police militarization occurred more than two decades after the North Hollywood shoot out. After the shootout, certain officers were equipped with AR-15 (or other long guns) to be taken out and used when needed and properly trained in handling them. SWAT teams were equipped with long guns and training schedules were changed to ensure a team was on duty all the time. This is a rational measured response.

            What we are currently seeing is the Obama administration getting rid of the billion dollar military arm surplus they created by an hastened badly planned military pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq to meet the unrealistic election promises.

          • Lord Chaos

            True they went completely overboard now, but in a country where a civ can buy an assault rifle while doing Sunday shopping needs better policing, or actual gun laws.

          • Anonymous

            Oh please, they have gun laws and regulation (not as overly zealous as ours but what good did that do South Afria). Also you will find the most heavy equipped and heavy handed police forces are in the areas with the most gun control.

            “Assault Rifles”/Self reloading rifles” are almost never used in the committing crime or shooting sprees in the US.

          • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

            You have a fair point. Dude what is this logic so early in the morning? *need another cuppa*

          • Rags

            I don’t see them doing anything wrong in the Kootra incident.

          • Anonymous

            You are kidding right? One anonymous prank call and they are coming in on private property fully armed in the same kit used in war zones to clear buildings. Holding people at gun point, keeping them cuffed and detained even after ascertaining that they are not an imminent threat. Removing cameras when they realize they are being filmed. Little more than a hundred years ago the US law didn’t even allow a standing army which can be used by the government to oppress the people.

            Crime was worse in the 80’s yet, then an officer in normal uniform would investigate first, walk up to building ask a few questions. If a problem arise he will retreat and radio for back up.

            But as they say give a man a hammer and everything will start looking like a nail.

          • Rags

            Oh please. These guys are dispatched not because its a freaken cat stuck in a tree. Swat is called out because of the nature of the call.

          • Anonymous

            Used to be that they are called in when patrol or investigating officers encounter heavy resistance or if a raid gets executed on KNOWN violent and heavily armed suspects. These days 90% of the time they are called for search warrants and anonymous phone call tip offs.

            Hell posting on Facebook “Bought a gun to shoot my pet dinosaur” will get your ass arrested.

            Another big problem is lack of training, used to be that there was rigorous training involved before an officers is allowed on SWAT teams or even issued with non-standard weapons. These days training is out of the window and everybody gets issued with heavy weapons since they get is for free from the federal government. Just look at this and other video clips of Ferguson, pointing of loaded weapons at known unarmed people. In Ferguson you see horrible lack of discipline on finger/trigger control; one stumble and there is another “tragic accident”.

          • Rags

            They are using fake caller ID’s. Sometimes even stealing the identities of the victims before making the call to authorities, in which many times they claim that they have already shot and killed people, is heavily armed and will use force. The only way to know that Kootra is not a threat is to take him down and question him. Standard procedure which is the safest for all parties involved.

            In the Kootra instance, they did nothing wrong and followed standard procedure.

  • Anonymous

    Welcome to the land of liberty and freedom. Fire in the hole! Go Go Go. Shut your face dirt-bag and get on the ground.

    • Grant [_G_] Hancock

      Do not like the way those cops handle their shit

  • Brian Murphy

    Charge them as accomplices or accessory to every crime committed while resources were used on their ‘prank’.

  • Hammersteyn

    Knock knock
    Who’s There?
    Democracy!

    • Anonymous

      Funny, but true. Last month they raided a house due to some acne face snot nose kid talked about bombs on Facebook.

      *Bang Bang Bang* “Police open up!
      *wait 3 seconds*
      Smash the glass doors around the house, chuck in 3 flashbangs/concussion grenades. Clears the house and drags out chuffed and at gun point an old lady in her 60’s and her petite 18 year old adopted daughter.

      End of the day wrong house, was the neighbour’s kid piggy backing on their Wi-Fi network.

      • Admiral Chief Assassin

        *facepalm*
        ‘Murica

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          Anywhere really, they’re just a good example. It’s the culture of fear we live in. I’m guessing we’ve all received those stupid emails that tell you how to protect yourself from criminals, like “don’t drive with your window open!” and the like. Well fuck all that shit, yes I take reasonable precautions, I don’t walk down dark alleys, I look around when I stop at robots at 4am, but I don’t live in fucking fear & keep my window closed because EVERYONE’S OUT TO GET ME HELP! And police forces aren’t immune to that fear either.

          I also remember learning how to identify limpet mines & the like when I was in primary school. You make people afraid & then you tell them you can protect them, then you get to tell them how to live, or you get to sell them stuff to make themselves safe, etc. It’s like that old saying about freedom & security, you can have one but not both.

          • Admiral Chief Assassin

            Good grief I had forgotten about learning about mines in school, geez, way to open old memories Trev!

          • Anonymous

            Also forgot about it, remember the posters in the malls with all the Soviet and South African made mines and grenades. Usually next to a red case with a bomb blanket in.

            I actually liked it, something interesting to study while my mom was in Edgars or Woolies.

          • Admiral Chief Assassin

            Lol yeah, right in the memory bag

      • Hammersteyn

        O_o

  • Admiral Chief Assassin

    “DON’T TAZE ME BRO!”

    Anyone remember that?

  • Mike

    It’s funny the amount of times ‘Terrorist win’ happened during that stream.

    • Admiral Chief Assassin

      LOL I heard, imagine if he had the sound on speakers….”bomb has been planted”

      Watch the cops run away!

      • Lord Chaos

        HAHAHA.

  • Kromas of City17

    If you get caught swatting they should immediately enlist you and send you off to Afghanistan or wherever America “intervenes” these days.

  • Kensei Seraph

    Pity.
    Asshats like that deserve a little payback.
    (Refresh for image)

  • jonedevil

    I just got paid
    ——————————————————–

  • Sk3tz0

    Dude just lucky Cops didnt go in with Flashbangs.. as stupid as this is.. I would of enjoyed seeing that though..

  • Sk3tz0

    I says, as Punishment.. Police should charge the pranksters family with the full cost of that operation..

    • Kensei Seraph

      + 20% for time wasted + 50% for Kootra’s emotional suffering and the kid should be legally barred from using any form of internet for at least 6 months.

      • Sk3tz0

        he should be banned from using any form of Emergency numbers for life..

  • lulz…

  • RayathF

    I wish it was real, that’s the least anyone who does this would deserve

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