It was supposed to be a quiet night for a certain Bungie executive, and it’s probably safe to say that waking up to the sounds of a helicopter with a team of police officers on a hostage rescue mission in his front yard wasn’t very high on his expectations for the night. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened last night when someone placed a prank call to the Sammamish Police Department declaring that they were in the residence of the Bungie executive, holding his family hostage, and had placed explosives in the yard.
When detectives realized that the initial call didn’t come from the house as was first suspected, but from an online source, they realized they’d been the victim of ‘swatting’, a terrible trend in which pranksters make a fake call which invokes an armed police response to an unexpecting victim. It’s a trend that has been picking up steam lately, and most pranks seem to be related to the video game industry. Earlier this year, an angry Call of Duty gamer pulled the same kind of stunt on a rival player, and a livestreaming Counter-Strike player was a victim back in September.
Police are currently working towards figuring out where the call came from, and the caller can face up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine if caught – which honestly seems like a light punishment for putting the Bungie employee and his family in danger. There’s no guessing how much taxpayer money was also wasted with the police sending in a team of sheriffs, a helicopter, and placing a SWAT team on standby, but we’re guessing it wasn’t a cheap night for the Sammamish Police Department.
The Bungie executive didn’t immediately realize what was happening, and police were only able to confirm the call was a hoax when the executive came outside his front door wearing a bathrobe. While nothing is confirmed, a deputy named Jason Houck is guessing the perpetrator has ties to the video game industry.
Maybe a contractor for his work or someone at his work who didn’t have a great experience with him.
Regardless of one’s thoughts on Destiny or Halo, or even a person in general, sending an armed police presence to their house is extremely dangerous and is a twisted thing to do. We hope the Bungie executive can shake off their rough night, and that the caller is dealt the justice they deserve.
Follow John Jacques on Twitter @Makelevi.
Source: Komo News