Swatting is potentially deadly
No, not deadly to a fly that you swat at, but to the homeowners who are subjected to aggressive police searches after the police receive a 911 call that someone was shot at the house. But the call is a hoax.
This happened to Jesse Vanremortel at 3:30 am, says an article at theoaklandpress.com. He and his girlfriend were jarred awake by noises, then next thing they knew, lights were shining under the bedroom door. A police officer crashed through, pointing an assault rifle at Vanremortel, 28. Police searched his house, and of course, found nothing, because this was a “swatting call” incident; the third in one week’s time in Oakland County.
The phony 911 call was by a woman claiming that shots had been fired inside a house on the street. Then she hung up. Thus far, police believe there’s a connection between the callers and the targeted victims. Strangely, Vanremortel says he doesn’t know the woman whom the police are investigating as a suspect.
It doesn’t help when the house’s occupant slept with the doors unlocked. Oddly, the teacher, on summer break, never awakened to a ringing phone shortly before the police entered the house—the call was from the police. So maybe the second lesson to learn is to put your radar on when you go to bed so that you don’t sleep through a ringing phone. My phones on, always, this is essential. If you don’t want to be awakened by a ringing phone, put it on mute, but not advised. But for Pete’s sake, lock up the house!
Vanremortel’s girlfriend and two roommates were held at gunpoint while the house was searched. You can see how swatting can turn deadly.
In other incidents, a caller said he shot his wife and rigged his home with explosives, then said he shot his neighbor. In another, a caller said he shot his mother.
At a minimum a home alarm in these situations would make law enforcement aware the property was in “secure” mode which may send a flag to approaching officers that the 911 dispatch might be fraud.
Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to BestHomeSecurityCompanys.com discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.