Three Swatting Incidents Attributed to Teenage Minecraft Player
13-year-old boy scheduled to appear in juvenile court next month.
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Three separate instances of swatting are being attributed to a 13-year-old boy who plays Minecraft, according to local police.
The name of the boy, who is from Southern California, is not being released due to his age. According to Ars Technica, he is now back in his parents' custody and is set to appear in juvenile court in April, where he's said to likely be put on probation.
Detective Gene Martinez of the Ventura County Sheriff's Department, who spoke with Ars, said that the boy has admitted to being responsible, and that "he felt he was wronged." In one of these cases, he threatened to blow up a house with hostages inside.
"The Camarillo incident there were 20-plus officers there. I was at that call. We basically surrounded the house. The caller reported there were 10 hostages in the house and demanded $30,000 in cash or he would blow up the house," Martinez said. "Whenever there is a hostage situation, we activate specialized units to respond."
Swatting is the dangerous trend in recent years of making a prank call to police that results in SWAT teams being dispatched to a victim's home. We've seen this happen with gamers a number of times, including earlier this year with Twitch streamer Joshua Peters who later spoke about the experience.
"I had police point a gun at my little brothers because of you," Peters said in an online message to the culprit in February. "They could have been shot, they could have died because you chose to swat my stream."
The penalties for swatting are serious. Although probation sounds like a light punishment in this latest case, that's only due to the boy's age; 19-year-old Brandon Wilson was arrested last month on suspicion of swatting and faces up to five years in jail if he's found guilty.