Swatter gets a year of jail time

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SWAT

I’ve discussed Swatting before, and how stupid I think it is. Through social engineering angry or stupid (or both!) kids on the internet make hoax calls to law enforcement authorities, convincing them to send heavily armed groups of officials in to innocent people’s homes for the lulz.

It’s not only a terrible waste of resources, but it’s terribly dangerous too – all it takes is somebody making the wrong split-second decision and it could easily end up with people being wounded, or worse – killed. There’s been little repercussion for those perpetuating this sort of abuse, but one 22 year old gamer’s just found himself facing a year of jail time.

Matthew Tollis, member of a group of wayward gamers calling themselves “TeAM Crucifix or Die” was arrested last year for his part in swatting pranks involving the Boston Convention Exhibition Center, Boston University, two high schools in New Jersey and a high school in Texas has been sentenced to a year and a day’s worth of prison, he’ll also be forced to do community service.

“Swatting is not a schoolboy prank, it’s a federal crime,” said U.S. Attorney Dierdre Daly. “These hoaxes have expended critical law enforcement resources and caused severe emotional distress for thousands of victims.”

Honestly though, I don’t think it’s enough. While it’s great that swatters are finally being brought to justice, I think the penalties should be higher; not only are you endangering people’s lives by having armed men with itchy trigger fingers break down their doors, but you’re potentially diverting those people away from situations where they might actually be needed.

“The problem is these police forces when they show up, they show up heavily armed. The police force that showed up at my home wasn’t a SWAT team, but had automatic weapons,” said Brian Krebs, who runs a Krebs on Security and was a victim of Swatting himself.

“These situations can get very intense very quickly,” he said. “These guys come in and they’re pumped. They’re ready to respond to a high energy intense situation and their fingers are on the trigger. This is going to be a bad situation at some point when they kick in a door and somebody is defending their home.”

This swatting nonsense needs to stop. The next time I hear SWAT on a game site, I want it to be because Sierra (or Activision’s the case may be) is publishing a new one.

Last Updated: October 12, 2015

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.

  • Grand Admiral Chief
  • Hammersteyn

    The only thing Matthew is swatting now are penises

    • Grand Admiral Chief

      Bwhahahahahahahaha

    • Skyblue

      LOL!

  • Grand Admiral Chief

    Matthew Tollis, the Trollis

  • Mistake Not…

    Regardless of the sentence, this guy is 22 years old. Seriously, this is past the point of ‘no, it’s the parents’ fault etc.’. This guy probably has an IQ equal to his age.

    • Hammersteyn

      Hopefully this deters future swatters. Yes it’s bad for a 22 year old to get jail time and a criminal record all because of a prank but pranks can have horrible consequences.

  • Grand Admiral Chief

    SWAT 3 NEEDs a remaster

    • Pariah

      I’d actually buy that.

      • Grand Admiral Chief

        Just slap in some sniper elements (I can’t recall it had that)

        • Hammersteyn

          I can just have pistols, SOLD

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    It’s not ha-ha-harmless fun. It’s reckless endangerment.

    • Hammersteyn

      Like a night with Rince out on the town?

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        Now you understand my pain.

  • Valenlord

    How much time will a swatter of flies get you??? Then I am in deeeeep sh!t….

    • Pariah

      Interesting role reversal though.

  • Bagel

    Mr Tim, the first sentence.

    “I’ve discussed Swatting before, and how stupid I think it.”

    Thank me later boo :*

    • Pariah

      What are you talk about?

      • Bagel

        The sentence ._.

        Is it correct? or am i just shitty at the English language?

        Im leaning towards the latter ._.

        • Grand Admiral Chief

          *Or
          *I
          *I’m

          Also, you were correct in the first sense, and it should be fixed now, if I can wake Geoff up that is

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Wake Geoff up… huehuehue

          • Grand Admiral Chief

            A MONOLITHICAL TASK

          • Bagel

            WHAT NOW SPELLING MISTAKE FANSHITS ?? 😀

            Thanks Mr Chief <3

        • Pariah

          I’m assuming you didn’t notice my intentional spelling error?

          • Bagel

            No I did, but I assumed it was sarcasm hence why I asked if I was correct.

            lol

          • Pariah

            No, you were correct. Me just mucking about, as usual. 🙂

          • Bagel

            Dont let me stop you.

            Mucking about > normal things

            Always.

  • Valenlord

    You know now that I am thinking it… Swatting will never work in the good old SA… Here if you call them you would be pranked because they will never arrive…

    • konfab

      I disagree, you can tip off the cops that someone has an unpaid speeding fine.

      They will probably call the special tasks group.

  • “for his part in swatting pranks involving the Boston Convention Exhibition Center, Boston University, two high schools in New Jersey and a high school in Texas has been sentenced to a year and a day’s worth of prison, he’ll also be forced to do community service.”

    Seriously! all that and this sub standard useless waste of human trash does not get more than 1 year prison time (he is 22!). I have seen the video about a couple of these “swatters” and its freaking dangerous!

    • Jonah Cash

      Mesmerizing to say the least O_o

  • Deceased

    “… for the lulz.”
    You have that all wrong … trolls try to troll the grammar nazis as well, so it goes:

    “fo’ teh lulz.” 😀

    Though I’m with everyone above… GOOD

  • Nikola

    At first it sounds like a funny idea but if you just think a bit not a LOT just a tiny bit you realize what kind of implications this kind of prank could have. I guess this guy couldn’t even think a bit about his actions now he is paying the price rightfully so.

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