Last year, as we reported, Jordan "Kootra" Mathewson, founder of a Littleton-based gaming group called The Creatures, was live-streaming Counter-Strike when police burst into the room.
"Uh-oh," Kootra said. "This isn't good. They're clearing rooms. I think we're getting SWATted."
Since then, the phenomenon of SWATting — calling in bogus threats guaranteed to bring out the SWAT team — has become more common. And that's caused law-enforcement to redouble its efforts to stop such resource-wasting pranks.
Case in point: The FBI has just announced the arrest of a Colorado Springs-based teenager for SWATting a high school in Southern California. And that may not have been his only target.
About 12:45 a.m. on Tuesday, September 8, according to the Corona Police Department, which serves a community east of Anaheim, dispatchers received a bomb threat for Centennial High School, a large facility in the area.
The male caller said two bombs in backpacks had been planted in the school and were set to explode that morning.
After alerting school officials, police rushed to the campus to conduct room-to-room searches with the assistance of a bomb-sniffing dog.
Eventually, the cops found a couple of suspicious backpacks — but the Riverside County Sheriff's Department bomb squad concluded that they were safe.
Nonetheless, school was cancelled for the day as a precautionary measure.
According to the FBI, a similar call was placed to the Corona police on September 9. In both cases, the caller used an alias.
The feds soon got involved in part because SWATting threats had also been made in regard to high schools in Las Vegas — and the calls were eventually traced to a residence in Colorado Springs, where a juvenile was taken into custody.
The suspect isn't being identified owing to his age and no charges have been filed yet. But already, this is the most high-profile SWATting case in these parts since Kootra's gaming interruptus.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!