FBI investigates hoax that sent SWAT team to home
If you can't beat 'em, call in the SWAT team?
"The SWAT team's responding to a call from a teenager saying he just killed his mom. When police arrived, the only guns around 17-year-old Rafael Castillo were of the video game variety."
And WABC reports the video game was Call of Duty. According to the outlet, Castillo of Long Beach, New York was playing the video game when an opponent he'd beaten called in the SWAT team.
Police say the vengeful player uncovered Castillo's address by tracking his IP and placing the fake call, according to New York Post.
Unbelievable, right? Well, apparently not. The Long Beach police commissioner told WCBS this kind of prank call is becoming "a nationwide epidemic."
"In this ... bizarre world of Swatting, you get points for the helicopter, for the police cars, for the SWAT team, for the type of entry. It's very sophisticated. Unfortunately, it's very dangerous."
A writer for LIHerald.com says after the SWAT team charged the home, it didn't take long for the officers to realize it was a hoax. Castillo's mom told police "My kid's home, my kid's on the computer. He don't know what happened."
Despite the emergency response, Newsday reports officials were skeptical because the caller used Skype to phone in the false claims, and didn't use the tracking-enabled 911 number, instead calling the department directly.
If authorities are able to track down the prankster, he or she could end up paying $100,000 for the emergency response.