Destiny Developer Bungie Executive Swatted At His Home

Destiny Developer Bungie Executive Swatted At His Home

A hoax claiming a suspect had bombs and a family under hostage led to police and a SWAT team startling a Bungie executive in his home.

An unnamed executive at Destiny developer Bungie is the latest victim of a swatting incident. Around 4 am on Thursday, a police helicopter and a SWAT team startled residents of Sammamish, Washington.

Someone called the police, saying he had an assault rifle, explosives in the yard, and a family held hostage. Nathan Elledge, chief of police at the Sammamish Police Department, told KOMO News the caller demanded $20,000 before he would release the family. Elledge said the police department responded to this call as if it were an in-progress hostage situation.

However, the call was a hoax. The police found a confused Bungie executive in his bathrobe, though it took police nearly an hour to determine there was no threat.

Police believe the caller has ties to the video game community. Deputy Jason Houck from the King County Sheriff's Office suggested the suspect could be "a contractor for his work or someone at his work who didn't have a great experience with him."

A Bungie spokesperson said the unnamed executive "is okay and didn't want to discuss the incident."

This is not the first swatting incident in gaming; this year there have been several stories where Call of Duty or Counter-Strike players were the targets of false reports. The caller claims to be the person they're targeting and issues a dangerous threat. The caller is also able to trick dispatchers into thinking the call is coming from a different location.

"[Police] haven't been able to unravel the knot of where it comes back to," Houck said of this case.

Finding the caller is difficult. If caught, the person responsible could go to jail for up to one year and pay a $5,000 fine.

"This is not a game. This is a very serious response that could've had serious consequences and we're just fortunate that didn't happen this time," Elledge warned. "It puts officers' lives at risk when you respond to something this serious. It puts the citizens' lives at risk."

Source: KOMO News via Kotaku

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Oh god, not this shit again. Like that kid who was DDossing Warcraft and Leauge of Legends made a supposed bomb threat to Sony CEO's plane. Some people are just asshats.

At this point im wondering whether reporting on theese incidents is worthwhile.

Obviously, terrible thing to do and all that, but is reporting on the incident really helping to solve the problem? Or is it causing people to realise they could do this to people they dont like as well?

Well as its happened to an executive from a (multi) hundred million Dollar company that works for a multi billion Dollar corporation something might get done about this, maybe new resources and greater efforts aimed at catching those responsible?

gigastar:
At this point im wondering whether reporting on theese incidents is worthwhile.

Obviously, terrible thing to do and all that, but is reporting on the incident really helping to solve the problem? Or is it causing people to realise they could do this to people they dont like as well?

The worst thing that can happen is that things like this are seen as unnoteworthy. That means we've basically accepted them as something unavoidable.

This is getting-no, this has BEEN out of hand for awhile now! I mean for fuck's sake! I imagine SWAT is getting pretty pissed off at all this. Why isn't doing this a federal offense!?

Jesus Christ, another one?
The police need to figure out how to find these guys fast, before people outside of video game trolls start pulling this shit.

erttheking:

gigastar:
At this point im wondering whether reporting on theese incidents is worthwhile.

Obviously, terrible thing to do and all that, but is reporting on the incident really helping to solve the problem? Or is it causing people to realise they could do this to people they dont like as well?

The worst thing that can happen is that things like this are seen as unnoteworthy. That means we've basically accepted them as something unavoidable.

This is getting-no, this has BEEN out of hand for awhile now! I mean for fuck's sake! I imagine SWAT is getting pretty pissed off at all this. Why isn't doing this a federal offense!?

I'm not big on harsh sentencing for crimes, but in this case I think you're right. I'm surprised it's not. It seems to me this would fall under "making a false police report," which I'm pretty sure is a federal offense. Could be wrong though. Time to educate myself.

Gorrath:

erttheking:

gigastar:
At this point im wondering whether reporting on theese incidents is worthwhile.

Obviously, terrible thing to do and all that, but is reporting on the incident really helping to solve the problem? Or is it causing people to realise they could do this to people they dont like as well?

The worst thing that can happen is that things like this are seen as unnoteworthy. That means we've basically accepted them as something unavoidable.

This is getting-no, this has BEEN out of hand for awhile now! I mean for fuck's sake! I imagine SWAT is getting pretty pissed off at all this. Why isn't doing this a federal offense!?

I'm not big on harsh sentencing for crimes, but in this case I think you're right. I'm surprised it's not. It seems to me this would fall under "making a false police report," which I'm pretty sure is a federal offense. Could be wrong though. Time to educate myself.

I'm not huge on big punishments either, but there's a very real chance that someone could get killed as a result of these false reports and people are treating it like a game.

erttheking:

gigastar:
At this point im wondering whether reporting on theese incidents is worthwhile.

Obviously, terrible thing to do and all that, but is reporting on the incident really helping to solve the problem? Or is it causing people to realise they could do this to people they dont like as well?

The worst thing that can happen is that things like this are seen as unnoteworthy. That means we've basically accepted them as something unavoidable.

Or it means that they get what they want, their "prank" on the news.

erttheking:

Gorrath:

erttheking:

The worst thing that can happen is that things like this are seen as unnoteworthy. That means we've basically accepted them as something unavoidable.

This is getting-no, this has BEEN out of hand for awhile now! I mean for fuck's sake! I imagine SWAT is getting pretty pissed off at all this. Why isn't doing this a federal offense!?

I'm not big on harsh sentencing for crimes, but in this case I think you're right. I'm surprised it's not. It seems to me this would fall under "making a false police report," which I'm pretty sure is a federal offense. Could be wrong though. Time to educate myself.

I'm not huge on big punishments either, but there's a very real chance that someone could get killed as a result of these false reports and people are treating it like a game.

Precisely, the chances someone might end up dead over some trigger-happy cops is way too high for this to be considered a minor thing. Cops are stressed enough by regular incidents, let alone claims about bombs and assault rifles.

erttheking:

gigastar:
At this point im wondering whether reporting on theese incidents is worthwhile.

Obviously, terrible thing to do and all that, but is reporting on the incident really helping to solve the problem? Or is it causing people to realise they could do this to people they dont like as well?

The worst thing that can happen is that things like this are seen as unnoteworthy. That means we've basically accepted them as something unavoidable.

This is getting-no, this has BEEN out of hand for awhile now! I mean for fuck's sake! I imagine SWAT is getting pretty pissed off at all this. Why isn't doing this a federal offense!?

5 swattings that i know of this year, one resulting in a fatality, and two fake bomb alerts.

Well i cant imagine that the people behind the more recent swattings came up with the idea on thier own. Hence why i ask if reporting on it is contributing to the problem rather than helping to solve it.

And in my mind, public awareness of this issue isnt going to help potential victims in the slightest. Only thing the public can do is hope various governments get this shit classified as attempted second degree murder, or something.

erttheking:

Gorrath:

erttheking:

The worst thing that can happen is that things like this are seen as unnoteworthy. That means we've basically accepted them as something unavoidable.

This is getting-no, this has BEEN out of hand for awhile now! I mean for fuck's sake! I imagine SWAT is getting pretty pissed off at all this. Why isn't doing this a federal offense!?

I'm not big on harsh sentencing for crimes, but in this case I think you're right. I'm surprised it's not. It seems to me this would fall under "making a false police report," which I'm pretty sure is a federal offense. Could be wrong though. Time to educate myself.

I'm not huge on big punishments either, but there's a very real chance that someone could get killed as a result of these false reports and people are treating it like a game.

Its only a matter of time before someone gets killed, either a member of the public or a police officer. Either a squad of jumpy adrenaline fuelled officers will kill someone they think is a threat or kill someone by accident (like the baby that got a face full of stun grenade some months back) or the officers will be overly cautious because of incidents like this and get caught with their pants down, entering a building by force like this is a tricky balance at the best of times and you don't want completely innocent people or over cautious officers added to the mix.

The one question I had was why did it take the police an hour to figure out there was no threat? Shouldn't it have taken a good 10 mins of going around the house, backyard, and front yard to make sure everything was ok?

You know, as illegal and awful as this is, it might be an effective strategy against terrible video game companies. Do something stupid and anti-consumer and you might get swatted.

gigastar:
is it causing people to realise they could do this to people they dont like as well?

Definitely this. It was my first thought even though I'd never actually do something so stupid.

J Tyran:
Well as its happened to an executive from a (multi) hundred million Dollar company that works for a multi billion Dollar corporation something might get done about this, maybe new resources and greater efforts aimed at catching those responsible?

It's been happening to Hollywood celebrities for awhile now, it happened so much that the media worked with police to actively stop reporting on it in an effort to not give it so much attention.

It's also been done to state politicians, and a California senator who was going to give a speech on a new SWATting bill was SWATted himself.

I doubt a Bungie executive is going to get additional resources put into stopping this when Hollywood celebrities and government politicians have already been SWATted in the past. It's not really so much a matter of resources as it's also a matter of just being unable to trace these calls unless the perpetrator screws up somewhere along the line. Someone computer savvy enough basically runs no risk of ever being caught as long as they are careful enough.

I'd double the fine on that sum'bitch; helicopter fuel is awful expensive (at least, that's the excuse I'd give).

GAunderrated:
The one question I had was why did it take the police an hour to figure out there was no threat? Shouldn't it have taken a good 10 mins of going around the house, backyard, and front yard to make sure everything was ok?

I guess they had to comb the yard, possible with a metal detector, as well as searching every nook and cranny in the house, then maybe even ripping up the floors and walls to get everywhere. Dude's an exec. so he's probably got a big house.

Someone needs to find a way to put an end to these incidents, before someone gets killed.

It really wouldn't take much for it to happen :(

I'm getting real fucking tired of assholes doing this. It cost people their security and peace of mind that they don't have to worry about a SWAT team busting into their home and tear gassing their home. I hope when they catch these bastards they get a heavy sentence. May teach the little shits that the world doesn't exist for their enjoyment and actions have consequences.

roseofbattle:
Destiny Developer Bungie Executive Swatted At His Home

...though it took police nearly an hour to determine there was no threat.

GAunderrated:
The one question I had was why did it take the police an hour to figure out there was no threat? Shouldn't it have taken a good 10 mins of going around the house, backyard, and front yard to make sure everything was ok?

It's just because everything they do takes time. EVERYTHING they do takes time. Good departments, and specialized units try to be as quick and efficient as possible; but mobilizing is an effort that involves so many people and lines of communication. I imagine it went down something like this... The call comes in and because of its severity, they don't just send a couple of units right away sirens blazing. Instead, the captain is notified, as well as the sherriff's departments. They might discuss the situation between themselves before deciding to mobilize a specialized unit. Investigators might get a call as well, and if they are off duty or on other assignments, they get pulled and they will want some information. And if Sammish, where this happened, is a smaller municipality (I don't know anything about this place and can't be arsed to Google it) without a robust police presence or its own specialized forces, there might be all all these different people showing up at different times because they are being pulled from different places.

So finally, everybody shows up at this guy's house. Ok, good. They don't know what they are dealing with, so they spend some time talking to each other and the station and their superiors to verify the information they were given, and to check if anything new is available to them. They might spend some time checking out everything available about that address and everyone that has recently lived there for potential threats.

All of this communication, checking, verifying, etc. - it all has to happen until they feel like they can even approach the scene with a modicum of safety - it has to continue happening with every new thing they do. And then all the checking the scene itself takes time. Getting the guy safely out of his house - or the team safely entering the house takes time. I'm sure once they saw him and had direct communication with him, it didn't take long to determine he was not a threat. But the time and preparation getting to that point is another matter. Noone casually walked around the house, knocked on the door, pulled the guy out, and grilled him for an hour before they finally put two and two together.

Just keep in mind the severity of the threat they received and how cautious they would naturally want to be. I mean, even given all the info that might have been available to them - they would be pretty much blind when they show up to this house and they have to approach it like anyting could happen. Honestly, if only an hour passed between the time the first officers show up and the time they figure out that the guy is cool, that's bloody impressive.

Edit: fixed a typo and added a quote and another phrase.

gigastar:
At this point im wondering whether reporting on theese incidents is worthwhile.

Obviously, terrible thing to do and all that, but is reporting on the incident really helping to solve the problem? Or is it causing people to realise they could do this to people they dont like as well?

I think Swatting needs to be covered. Why? Because I'd like to believe the people behind these "pranks" believe they are just that -- pranks -- and are not specifically designed to cause physical injury or death.

But that is EXACTLY what they can cause. And one of these days, an innocent person is going to end up dead because of it. People need to understand just how dangerous swatting it. This Bungie executive could have been accidentally shot by police. Or, if it was a no-knock raid where police entered the house unannounced, he could have armed himself and shot a police officer. Botched police raids that hit the wrong houses or result in accidental shootings of civilians happen ALL. THE. TIME. Here's a list of just a few of these horrible incidents in recent years.

http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/article/20110310/News/303109912
http://abcnews.go.com/US/tucson-swat-team-defends-shooting-iraq-marine-veteran/story?id=13640112#.Ub6BmdhZ4mA
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/aiyana-stanley-jones-update-grandmother-testifies-she-watched-detroit-cop-shoot-girl-7/
http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/02/24/atlanta.police/
http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=95475&page=1
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/05/baby-in-coma-after-police-grenade-dropped-in-crib-during-drug-raid/

So yeah, some sikc people may read news about Swatting and think "Great idea!" But hopefully most folks will realize that this is not a prank, and that someone is going to get killed if these incidents keep happening.

Will these police just knock on a fucking door (without kicking it in) if the suspect has ties to video games.

Hopefully they are able to identify the idiot that made the call and throw their ass in prison for long time.

Scorpid:
Will these police just knock on a fucking door (without kicking it in) if the suspect has ties to video games.

And how in the world would they know that? The police don't have files on everyone and even if they had files on a particular person. "plays video games" isn't in there.

Raziel:

Scorpid:
Will these police just knock on a fucking door (without kicking it in) if the suspect has ties to video games.

And how in the world would they know that? The police don't have files on everyone and even if they had files on a particular person. "plays video games" isn't in there.

Or maybe we (US) could stop living in a police state that locks 1/50 people that live in its border in prisons.

erttheking:
Why isn't doing this a federal offense!?

It can be in the states and people have been tried under Federal law over it.

Scorpid:

Or maybe we (US) could stop living in a police state that locks 1/50 people that live in its border in prisons.

What does that have to do with threats of violence?

Y

Zachary Amaranth:

erttheking:
Why isn't doing this a federal offense!?

It can be in the states and people have been tried under Federal law over it.

Scorpid:

Or maybe we (US) could stop living in a police state that locks 1/50 people that live in its border in prisons.

What does that have to do with threats of violence?

You don't see connection between how much force the police are allowed to wield and how much of that force that they use when they get single call about a mad gunmen killing everyone? That call is the ONLY evidence they need to kick down your door and point a gun at your head any time of the day or night, screaming and yelling at you to get down on your stomach and not to resist them in your own home while other officers mat black tactical armor swarm into the house yelling the same at your wife and kids. Its disgusting and disturbing.

Scorpid:

You don't see connection between how much force the police are allowed to wield and how much of that force that they use when they get single call about a mad gunmen killing everyone?

That wasn't the question. You tried to link it to the number of people in jail, which isn't directly tied to that. Unless you would like to demonstrate that it is, but don't go all dishonest and when asked one question, act indignant that I don't "see" something else.

 

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