Coquitlam "Swatter" Pleads Guilty to Harrassment, Extortion, and Threats
After being arrested for "swatting" numerous female gamers living throughout Canada and the United States, a 17-year-old boy from Coquitlam, B.C. has pleaded guilty to extortion, harassment, and threatening others online.
If you're not yet familiar with the term "swatting," brace yourself, because you're about to lose a little faith in humanity. Swatting is intended to be a kind of prank, like having pizza delivered to someone who didn't order it... only instead of calling the pizza place, they've called the police to say that you've got a gun to your mother's head... and instead of a pizza delivery guy showing up at your doorstep, it's a S.W.A.T. team armed with semi-automatic weapons, ready to take you down at the slightest misstep.
Swatting joins doxxing in the troll's toolbox as yet another trending implement of cyberbullying, and while incidents of swatting have been on the rise, the charges pressed against this teen and others like him may prove to discourage future perpetrators.
Not just a prank, but a serious, life-threatening offense
On Friday, May 15th, the teen (who as a minor, cannot be identified) arrived for his sentencing hearing. During this time, Prosecutor Michael Bauer described the teen's interactions with his victims, who had only dared to reject his online advances. In retaliation, the teen would obtain the personal information of his target and use that information to report hostage and/or bomb threats to his target's local police.
In one such case, a young Arizona woman was forced by circumstance to withdraw from her school to escape these threats. In another, the parents of a girl in Minnesota had their credit rating destroyed when the teen posted their personal details online.
Before finally being arrested, the teen showed complete disregard for his behavior, livestreaming his actions on YouTube and bragging about it on Twitter. As his mother stated in an interview with CKNW AM, “I don’t think he really still comprehends at all really what he’s done.” Her full interview can be found in the soundcloud link below.
The teen's sentencing hearing is set for June 29th.