Canadian Teenager Arrested For SWATting
As painfully ubiquitous as SWATting has become, it's not something that often ends in arrests. So when law enforcement in both Florida and Canada were able to team up to arrest a teenager after death threats to a school and SWATting a teenage girl in Florida, it didn't take long.
The Canadian teenager allegedly responsible cannot be identified as he is 17 and a minor. The same goes for his target, a female student in Florida who he had met online.
"When we found out it was somebody from Canada we were like, 'Why would somebody from Canada frighten a school in little ol' Fort Meade?'"
After his advances were rejected by her after meeting online, he called the sheriff's office in Polk County, Florida in September of this year, threatening that he would drive to Fort Meade High School and "shoot everyone" with an AK-47. The Police quickly surrounded the area, locked down the school and spent several hours searching for an armed suspect. Of course there was no armed suspect and the kid that had made the call was in his Canadian home and nowhere near Florida--but the hoax felt real to the staff and students of the high school.
Austin Cartwright, an 18 year-old Senior at Fort Meade High School told CBC that "When we found out it was somebody from Canada we were like, 'Why would somebody from Canada frighten a school in little ol' Fort Meade?' I mean, we only have one red light here in the whole town." Austin later added, after discovering the story behind the hoax, "it's just a stupid thing to do, especially over a girl."
It didn't end there however, the suspect continued the hoax a month later, in October, calling the girl's school and threatening to "blow everyone up" which caused yet another full response from police. Then in November he called a similar SWATting hoax directed at her home address in Winter Haven, Florida, claiming that he had killed his parents and would kill any officers that come to the scene. Florida police where able to trace the call and coordinate with RCMP (Royal Canadian Mountain Police) to execute a search warrant on the teen's home and arrest him later that week.
The teenager has been charged in Canada with one count of extortion, three counts of public mischief and three more counts relating to breach of probation, and is scheduled to appear in court later this week. Florida officials won't be seeking extradition as the suspect is a minor but they will be pursuing civil action to recoup thousands of dollars in wasted police resources.
"further exposing this apparently common idea in our society, that there is any appropriate response to romantic rejection apart from politely moving on with your life."
Not only is this another in a terribly long line of embarrassingly childish abuses of law enforcement, but it is rooted in another hot issue of current events as this all started with a teenage boy feeling justified committing a vengeful act in response to unrequited advances on a young woman, further exposing this apparently common idea in our society that there is any appropriate response to romantic rejection apart from politely moving on with your life. This disturbing sense of entitlement adolescent males seem to have about with woman and relationships with them does not pair well with recent issues addressed by GamerGate and the frequency of careless acts such as SWATting and internet abuse.