A British man has been charged for swatting after his intended victim was shot twice by police during the mis-directed raid.
Robert McDaid allegedly called terrorist hotline in Maryland posing as a man named Tyran Dobbs, threatening to kill hostages unless $15,000 was delivered to his address. McDaid, as Dobbs, claimed to have guns and explosives on-site.
Police responded to the threat, raiding Dobbs home when he was sleeping. Dobbs was shot in the face and chest with rubber bullets, breaking bones in his face and bruising his lungs, according to a report from the Independent.
Investigators were able to trace the call back to McDaid, who pointed to a gamer named Zachary Lee as the person who asked for the swatting. McDaid is facing charges including conspiracy to produce false information and hoax, and faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. Lee is facing similar charges.
Getting shot is hilarious
Swatting is the act of placing a false report in order to get law enforcement to raid the victim’s home. The act is named after the SWAT teams that often respond to hostage situations like those reported in these calls. The act has risen in popularity alongside video game livestreaming, as the live stream provides what the perpetrators view as a perfect venue to see the results of their ‘prank’ play out live.
Dobbs is the first swatting victim that I’m aware of actually being shot as a result of a swatting, though every instance is a potentially deadly situation that wastes thousands of dollars and distracts the SWAT team or other officers involved from going after real crimes.
While authorities are pursing charges against McDaid and Lee, Dobbs is questioning the local police, who he says ignored family members in the home at the time and went in anyway.