Call of Duty player loses match, calls in SWAT team on opponent

Long Island police sent helicopters and emergency vehicles to home, only to find they were the victim of "swatting."

Some gamers might throw their controller or curse at the TV when they lose a Call of Duty match, but one player went much, much further this week.

The New York Post reports that a Long Island prankster called police over Skype Tuesday and told them he was Rafael Castillo, a 17-year-old from Long Beach, NY. He reportedly informed the authorities that he had "just killed my mother and I might shoot more people," also giving police Castillo's address.

Long Island police then dispatched helicopters and other emergency vehicles to the scene. In total, more than 60 officers were on site, including "elite members" of a special operations unit, the New York Post says.

When police arrived at the home, Castillo's mother was in the kitchen, unscratched. The authorities then attempted for 20 minutes to get Castillo to come out of his room, but he apparently had headphones on and could not hear what was going on.

Eventually, Castillo emerged from the room and it became apparent that no one was in any danger. Police said that the person who called in the prank likely tracked Castillo's IP address to find out where he lived. The hoaxer's identity and whereabouts are unknown, though police said they are trying to track this person down through digital means.

Pranks of this nature are nothing new, and are known popularly as "swatting." In this case, New York police spent time and resources responding to the hoax, but at least everyone was safe.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

704 comments
bluesunmerc
bluesunmerc

And this is why I stay in party chat.

Zironn1
Zironn1

To be honest that kid was prolly trash talking that hacker and pissed him off, there is a lesson to learn there. play nice.

undo
undo

So after reading the title and the first sentences of the article, I'm assuming the caller had just lost a match against this Castillo kid before calling the police, but why is this information not clearly expressed in the article's body?

zygany
zygany

Sweet! If people won't come feed my cows on Farmville, now I know how to handle it!

BranKetra
BranKetra moderator moderator

I foresee more educated law enforcement agencies in the future because of pranksters like that. That was our taxdollars wasted.

bourne714
bourne714

Swatting huh?  Sounds like a fun idea, but my luck it would backfire on me 100%.

GameFan1983
GameFan1983

opps, feel little sry for the caller for he's gonna foot the bill. 

Lambchopzin
Lambchopzin

Swatting? Pretty sure the person who wrote the original NY Post article is just making shit up. I've never heard that term before.


That aside this is pretty despicable. Once they find the guy responsible he'll no doubt find himself in prison for a while, rightly so.

niteryder1
niteryder1

So if it were battlefield would they send an Army Platoon and a few tanks?

coolguyhero
coolguyhero

cheap pranks wastage of money,resource & time.

d-man
d-man

60 officers for one kid? And they say America isn't becoming a police state.

naryanrobinson
naryanrobinson

They will find him and charge him a *lot* of money, and the person he was doing the "prank" on got nothing but a front row seat to an awesome spectacle and a cool story out of it.

I don't think he thought this one through too well.

kerrman
kerrman

lol, that's kind of impressive amounts of rage.

bluefox755
bluefox755

"swatting"? It's a thing? They talk about it like it's a regular occurrence.

Messenger360p
Messenger360p

Don't insult my intelligence Gamespot, this never happened & you know it....

Wahab_MinSeo
Wahab_MinSeo

it's a Call of Duty 10th anniversary commercial, LOL!

tachsniper
tachsniper

I got to say, Eddie you and I don't always see eye to eye on what is "news" but this article is something every gamer needs to be aware of. Stupid crap like this should not happen.


though I do find it kind of weird that the NYPD lets people call over skype (admittedly i dont use skype so not sure how it works)

pidow
pidow

Its sad that sore losers would result to doing something like that because of a lost.  This is one of the reasons I do not play on line, immaturity.  What if some one got hurt as a result?.  

quickshooterMk2
quickshooterMk2

wondered if it was an eddie article and BAM it is 


eddie you clickbait tyranny must stop 

LtReviews
LtReviews

And if you get a 20-kill streak you can call in the Navy Seals to raid the other player's home.

Karchy
Karchy

NSA could help.. but they are too busy monitoring cat videos on youtube

DemocraticTroll
DemocraticTroll

The US needs to find the word " civilized" in the dictionary, hate , racism , violence , ignorance in a great scale...damn.

Effing Americans thats why most of the world hates you.

rinnisrose
rinnisrose

@bourne714

Actually its not that fun. Try a different, better prank if you want to have some fun.

rinnisrose
rinnisrose

@GameFan1983

Why feel sorry for him? He's the idiot that called in. Do you think taxpayers should be the ones to pay for these unnecessary calls?

KSSuperhero
KSSuperhero

@Lambchopzin Swatting has been around awhile there have been a few cases of Celebrities getting swatted. You may need to read the news a little more if you are missing stuff this common.

ewjiml
ewjiml

@d-man  

Apparently, shooting someone's mother dead and the threat of shooting more people doesn't justify a heavy-handed response.  Are you just finding stuff to bitch about?

evil_m3nace
evil_m3nace

@tachsniper  it acts like a normal phone, I can dial normal numbers to anywhere in the world. you don't need skype to receive a skype call to phone.

dustyskunk
dustyskunk

@DemocraticTroll  Right... because sweeping generalizations and stereotypes about a nation's people are *always* correct. We all know that. Obviously all Brits have bad teeth, all French like to surrender and all Poles are stupid...

...and you want to talk about ignorance? Hate? Racism? Really?! 

Listen, I understand what you are saying. I am often appalled when I hear about the actions of people in my country and my government. However, more often than not, it's the negative things that make the news. Problems of all kinds. The media today has a tendency to focus on shock, terror and stupidity because those stories evoke strong emotional reactions and drive viewership. More viewership = more advertising revenue. It's becoming rarer and rarer to hear about the good things coming out of any nation. So please: do not propagate stereotypes and subsequently ignorance. The actions of a few outliers rarely represent the whole, and we are most often exposed to those outliers through the media.

I can sit here and point out terrible things I've heard about many nations, but I am not willing to allow those things to define my view of their people. Try keeping an open mind, and remember when you point a finger, three point back at you. 

  

evil_m3nace
evil_m3nace

@ewjiml @d-man  60 police officers for one persons threat, on the phone, without witnesses, I'd say thats pretty much an overkill.

CrashOV
CrashOV

@MrOnage @quickshooterMk2  I have to agree. Eddie is known for his click-bait troll titles and lackluster articles. But this time I would have to say that the title was exactly what the article was about and for a change was news worthy.

TigusVidiks
TigusVidiks

@dustyskunk @DemocraticTroll You should allow it to to define your views, because it's exactly what it is. Trying to keep our views sterile, as if the acts of a part are not the acts of the whole, it's nonsense. 
Ex:
Obviously, not every american is going to grab an automatic weapon and enter a school to kill children. But it does define your country, whether you like it or not. Are they not americans? They are a part of your nation, so...
Thing is, if the same happens in any other evolved country, there would be an argument for you. Problem is, there isn't. At least not so often, not by a long shot. I understand that being on the inside makes is harder to keep it in perspective, your "press" and your authorities usually end up passing the message that it was a crazy guy, or a nationalized "foreigner". Thing is, your country breeds those crazy guys. Your society breeds them at a much higher rate than anywhere else. Of course, if a nationalized "foreigner" actually does something good, the label never shows up.
I think americans in general need some lessons in humility, and lack the capacity to imparcially analize yourselves, and your too big to allow anyone else to do it. . And yes, I'm generalizing. Because the fact that only a few shoot kids in schools, doesn't acquit the rest of you.
Lack of culture, replaced by videogames, hollywood movies and open flat out war mentality.
Sorry if I was brush, but since we are openly talking about those things...
I rather generalize

JethroThePoet
JethroThePoet

@CrashOV @MrOnage@quickshooterMk2 Why does everyone hate on Eddie so fucking much? It's gaming news. There isn't too much shit happening in the gaming world everyday other than... games. They have other venues to show that information.

RabidBurp
RabidBurp

@TigusVidiks 


We are not responsible for the actions of others, regardless of the country/province we live in. People make their own individual choices, and they alone should be held accountable for the consequences. Cultural/Religious/Video Game influence may indeed be a jumping off point for people to do stupid shit, but those influences are not directly forcing them to do so. We as a species do not run on a hive mind. In the end, we make our own choices to suit our own ends.


For example: if someone robs a bank in your country, should you be responsible for repaying the stolen money?

dustyskunk
dustyskunk

@TigusVidiks @TommyT456 @dustyskunk @DemocraticTroll  Listen, gun control is becoming more of a thing in the US, not the opposite. It's getting harder and harder to obtain a weapon legally. Background checks, long waiting periods, and tight restrictions are all part of the process now, and it's only getting harder. To say that we're working on giving "more guns to defend against the crazies" is a clear indication that you have absolutely NO idea what you are talking about, and are operating on the stereotype of all Americans being gun wielding cowboys. This simply isn't the case. 

Regardless you cannot judge a people based off their government either. Should we say all Russians are bullies because Putin is in power? Or that all Afghans are extremist because Al-Qaeda ruled the country for decades? Of course not!  

We are contemplating solutions. We are working through our problems, just as your society is dealing with their own. Yes, we have a representative government, which is currently under the influence of major corporations and lobbyist. No, I didn't make a choice for that to happen. Yes, there are people working to change that. I'm not sitting here and judging you and holding you accountable for things beyond your power to change. Don't judge me or mine. 

d-man
d-man

@TigusVidiks @TommyT456 @dustyskunk @DemocraticTroll  The system was rigged long before I was born. Stop being butthurt over your misunderstanding of American culture. Frankly your assumption that we are all, somehow, "magically" responsible is kind of fascist. Let me guess: German?

TigusVidiks
TigusVidiks

@TommyT456 @TigusVidiks@dustyskunk@DemocraticTrollAfter the crazy amount of shootings in the US, there were a 2 or 3 cases (in the whole world) of kids trying to imitate, influenced by what they saw coming out of your nation. Instead of exporting culture, you export crazyness. The difference is that they had no access to guns and were easily subdued. A 15 year old in my country was caught and is now under treatment, nobody died. We had never had such an event and it was a clear attempt at imitation of what he had seen and heard coming from the US.
But  the point is, if something like that happens, you are all responsible not just the guy who shoots. You already had several too many cases to force your hand and do something about it.
What solutions did your society contemplated?  get even more guns in civilian hands, to defend against the crazies.  Just.... nonsense. Your government represents you. You choose them, and it's clearly not a priority to elect someone who will end with this gun mess. Why? Probably because most electors do agree with the status quo regarding weapons. So you are all accountable, not just the crazies. 

rogue81
rogue81

@TigusVidiks I like to think the rest of the world thinks of the United States in the same way most Americans think of Texas: under educated, overly zealous devotion to their own state, overly patriotic devotion to their country, over armed, completely convinced of their own past superiority (Texas used to be a country!) and they all have horrible accents. As a people, we as Americans do need more humility, though there are plenty of us that are well aware of how the rest of the globe perceives us; We just don't get as much time in the spotlight. 


Ours is a country that gives its people incredible freedom, buts expects very little personal responsibility and holds very few accountable for their own actions. Our Olympic speed skating team were poor sports in front of the world when they blamed their own shoddy performance on their over-engineered, over-priced skating suits. The press ate it up. All we heard about during the event was "will the team be able to overcome their suits?!" Meanwhile, the athletes of the rest of the world gave everything they had and left it all on the ice. Here at home, when someone shoots up a school, the public immediately sifts through their past to see what made them snap. "He was such a good boy! Something made him do it!" The press wants to blame someone... someone besides the shooter. Video games, music, religion etc...


There are those of us who do have a broader sense of the rest of the world. There are those of us that care about our global reputation. We are empathetic, sympathetic and intellectual. We do take pride in our successes, but we also try to lift others up in our day to day lives, and there are more of us than you might think. When you interact with Americans on the internet and see our people on television, those people might represent us, but those few are not all of us.

TommyT456
TommyT456

@TigusVidiks @dustyskunk @DemocraticTroll  It is true that stuff like school shootings happen a lot more in America than anywhere else but to be fair that's because guns are so readily available compared to the rest of the world. Who's to say how often school shootings would happen here in the UK or Europe etc if most kids Dad's had a gun stashed somewhere "for safety"? So that makes it down to the US government as opposed to the general population. They do after all "have the right to hang a pair of bear arms on their wall" (family guy quote) :D lol