According to reports from the New York Post, more than 60 fully armed police officers and a helicopter responded to a threat phoned in by an upset Call of Duty player.
A player became enraged over losing a game online and called in a SWAT team to the Long Island residence of the 17-year-old opponent Rafael Castillo who beat him.
Rafael Castillo’s home in Long Island quickly became surrounded by local authorities.
After a two-hour standoff Castillo’s mother and brother exited the home telling police they weren’t dead and that Castillo was still playing Call of Duty with his headphones on, oblivious to this entire incident.
In the end Castillo was only using virtual firearms in the online video game.
“Some guy threatened to Swat him,” Castillo’s brother stated. “He was pissed that he had lost.”
“I thought there was a fire at my house. I ran up and saw my mom running out, I didn’t know what was going on,” said the brother, Jose, 21.
“Then one of the police officers said somebody called and said that the mother and brother of somebody in this house was killed. I said, ‘How is that possible if she’s right there and I’m right here?’”
The vicious gamer likely traced Castillo’s IP address online to find out where he lives, police sources said.
“It was probably just an evil little kid,” one officer said.
“We went and checked out the place and there was nothing there … It sucked up a lot of resources, caused traffic problems. It turned out to be a hoax,” he added.
Cops were trying to track down the hoaxer by tracing his electronic footprints, police sources said.
Long Beach Police Commissioner Michael Tangney suggests it’s just the latest example of the “Swatting” game.
“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,” he told CBS. “It’s very sophisticated. Unfortunately, it’s very dangerous.”
Is 60 police, a SWAT team and a helicopter justified for this kind of situation?
CBS News reports the entire incident cost about $100,000 in taxpayer money.