Despite its serious legal ramifications, video gamer SWATting, has become a somewhat popular internet sensation. According to Urban Dictionary, SWATting is, “A goal achieved by hacking where the hacker tricks 911 systems into deploying SWAT to an unsuspecting victim’s home under false pretenses.” Recently, a well known video gamer and Twitch streamer by the name of Joshua Peters was unfortunate enough to fall victim to a SWATting prank in the home in which he resides with his family. If you watch the video on his account, you can see his surprise as he is called to the door to greet the police. It is difficult to hear who he is speaking to, but you can clearly hear Joshua say, “What? Nothing!” and then as he turns back to the camera, “Cops are here, one sec.” He then leaves the room to deal with the situation.
After his ordeal, Joshua posted this reaction video:
The difference in Joshua’s demeanor between the two videos is astounding. Before the police arrive at Joshua’s house, he has a look of genuine happiness. You can tell that he is authentically enjoying the simple act of sharing his gaming experience with other players who are interested in doing the same. He is innocent. He isn’t doing anything wrong to anyone. And he isn’t even being a dick. Of course it’s possible that Joshua pissed someone off real bad at some point in his life and had this coming to him; but his reaction suggests otherwise. He expresses deep pain as his face contorts from the anguish of imagining harm befalling his family. He even begs the SWATter through tears, “Your gripe is with me. So let it be with me. But do not involve my family in any way, shape, or form like this. They don’t deserve that.” Joshua seemed most concerned for his younger brother saying, “”He’s 10 years old and he had 10 police officers pointing a gun at him because he was at the door.”
Joshua also spoke with ABC:
“Peters told ABC News today he does not have “beef” with anyone and was not sure who would target him.”It was more or less a wake-up call that I have to be careful. It can happen to anybody,” he said. “I came back on after and told everyone what was going on. I knew the person who did it was watching and I wanted to let them know you can’t do this.””
It’s possible that the SWATter wasn’t trying to hurt Joshua or his family. It’s possible that the SWATter is even one of Joshua’s friends who thought that this might be a harmless and hysterical prank. But whether that was the case or not, hopefully Joshua’s story will shed some light on the seriousness and negative effects of reporting false crimes.