SWAT raid captured via Twitch (screenshot/YouTube Ahmund Johansen)

Dangerous prank prompts SWAT team raid on gamer -- and it's all caught on video

"Swatting" is the act of getting the SWAT team to raid a rival gamer's house


Sarah Gray
August 28, 2014 9:30PM (UTC)

A live video stream, posted yesterday on YouTube, captured a truly terrifying scene: Heavily armed members of a SWAT team burst into the office of Jordan Mathewson in Littleton, Colorado.

SWAT invaded following a "false shooting and hostage report," according the Engadget. Luckily, unlike some botched SWAT raids, nobody was hurt.

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The raid happened during a session of "Counter-Strike," and was captured via Twitch, a video game streaming site purchased this week for nearly $1 billion by Amazon. Jordan "Kootra" Mathewson, a founder of The Creatures LLC, was playing a game streamed to Twitch when he heard the team clearing rooms.

"Uh-oh. This isn't good," Mathewson tells the camera. "They're clearing rooms. What in the world -- I think we're getting swatted."

Shortly after, the SWAT team -- guns drawn -- bursts into the room, ordering Mathewson to put his hands up and get down on the ground. Mathewson was released later, according to Engadget.

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"The caller claimed to have shot two co-workers, held others hostage, and threatened to shoot them," the Littleton Police Department said in a statement. "He stated that if the officers entered he would shoot them as well."

What the cameras captured is a perilous new prank known as "swatting," or making a false report to get the SWAT team to invade a rival gamer's space. As evidenced by the Vice News report below, this can involve disguising the caller identity and making some potentially life-threatening claims.

"There were no victims or any evidence that a shooting had taken place," police said, according to ABC 7. "If the investigation determines that today’s incident was a hoax, those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

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The obvious danger was highlighted by Police Chief Doug Stephens who told ABC 7, "This is not a game. This is not an online game. We have real guns with real bullets and there's a potential there for some tragedy."

The video of the raid is below:

Vice News did an in depth look at "swatting," which can be seen here:

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Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email sgray@salon.com.

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Gamers Prank Swat Team Swatting Twitch Video Video Game

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