British Man Charged for Terror Hoax Call and ‘Swatting’ US Gamer
Ron Perillo / 4 years ago
Robert McDaid, a 21-year old from Coventry has become the first non-US citizen to be charged for “Swatting” and calling in a terror hoax to a Maryland-based terrorism tip-line. If convicted, he could face up to 20-years in prison for helping another American gamer Zachary Lee who asked him to make the call and impersonate their intended victim Tyler Dobbs. McDaid placed a call posing as Dobbs, claiming to be armed with a gun and several bags of explosives. McDaid also threatened to kill three hostages unless $15,000 (£12,000) was delivered to Dobbs’ home.
The term Swatting is derived from Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) forces which are often deployed in law enforcement cases that are labeled as ‘high-risk’ such as terrorism, bomb threats, hostage situations or involving multiple armed assailants. It has become a popular form of prank to inflict upon those who livestream on Twitch or other platforms since the results can be seen on video.
When the SWAT team arrived at Dobbs location, they took the threat seriously and barged in with force, shooting the 20-year old gamer in the face with rubber bullets to subdue him, breaking his nose, ribs and bruised his lung in the process. After realizing their mistake, the police then traced the call back to McDaid in the UK, who has now been charged in the US with three offences, including conspiracy to produce false information and hoax.
“We are working with officials in the UK to ensure that Robert McDaid is held accountable for his alleged actions,” Maryland US prosecutor Rod Rosenstein commented. “The alleged criminal activity represents a grave threat to public safety.”
Dobbs and his family has criticized the police as well for the incident, stating that the family’s pleas were ignored as they woke Tyler up from bed (since he was sleeping at the time) and shot him in the face while in bed. In an interview with Washington DC ABC affiliate WJLA, Tyler Dobbs asked: “How did y’all not trace this call back? How did y’all not figure out where it came from? I want justice. I want them to pay for my medical damages and I want whoever shot me in my face to have to do some time.”