Just what kind of punishment should a 17-year-old get for making fraudulent 911 calls (a crime known as swatting)?
This happens more than you think. What's outright astounding is how these teens could think they won't be discovered. Have they been living in a cave all their lives, using a torch for light?
A 17-year-old boy in Ottawa, Canada, has made several fake 911 calls, including several in the U.S.
- Told dispatcher his mother was lying in a pool of blood; pretended to follow the CPR instructions.
- Pretended to be holding people hostage, demanding $100,000.
- Threatened to blow up a school.
- Arrested in May 2014, he faces 34 charges.
- Evidence includes recordings of the phony calls found on the boy's computer, plus Skype and Twitter logs.
- So based on the evidence, it's clear that this boy knows something about modern technology. Wow, he must be as dense as a box of bricks to think he couldn't be traced.
Maybe if kids, perhaps starting in adolescence, were taught in school how easy it is for authorities to track down a swatter, there'd be a lot fewer swatters. Certainly there would be; it's not a "maybe."
It's the parents' job to raise good kids, but we know this happens only some of the time. The kid may still be a rotten apple (thanks to a dysfunctional home life), but at least if he's educated in how simple it is for detectives to trace fraudulent 911 calls, there at least wouldn't be all of these fake 911 calls that tie up staff while other people really need their help.
And while we're on the topic of swatting, is there a name for the authentic 911 calls-but that deal with absurd complaints? People will call 911 to report lightning-simply in the sky. Other examples:
- Caller couldn't figure out how to exit a locked car.
- Caller complained her husband was viewing porn.
- Complaints about inadequate restaurant service.
- Caller complained her boyfriend wouldn't warm her cold feet.
- Caller (drunk) complained a bouncer wouldn't let him into a night club.
I say no jail time for these morons. Instead, make 'em stand all day at a busy intersection wearing a sign that says, "I'm a stupo. Called 911 because (fill in the blank).