An internet prank on Wednesday this week ended with the storming of an office building in Littleton, Colorado by heavily-armed SWAT police while computer gamers watched the raid unfold live on the internet.
Jordan Mathewson, co-founder of The Creatures online gaming company, told a local ABC News affiliate that around 3,000 people were watching online early Wednesday as he broadcasted the gameplay of a popular first-person shooter along with a live feed taken from his computer’s webcam. Things nearly took a turn for the tragic, however, when around two hours in he heard what turned out to be a barrage of tactical officers racing through his building.
A recording of the live feed that was being streamed over the web shows Mathewson cautiously removing his headphones and saying “I think we’re getting swatted” moments before a team of cops clad with rifles burst into his office with guns drawn and order him to the ground.
Indeed, Mathewson was being “swatting,” a growing trend in which a person anonymously files a false crime report, like a murder, in hopes of provoking the type of police response with the potential to ruin just about anybody’s day.
“I knew almost right away what exactly was happening,” he told Denver’s 7News. “But I was still frightened, you know? Having some guns pointed at you isn’t exactly the most common thing.”
Shortly after the incident occurred, the Littleton Police Department confirmed in a statement that they were responding to an emergency situation at The Creatures office which turned out to be untrue.
“The caller claimed to have shot two co-workers, held others hostage, and threatened to shoot them. He stated that if the officers entered he would shoot them as well,” the statement read in part. “There were no victims or any evidence that a shooting had taken place,” police said. “If the investigation determines that today’s incident was a hoax, those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Read more at RT News