A SWAT team swarmed a family’s home in Long Island, N.Y., on Tuesday after a vengeful gamer reported that someone had been murdered there, and police are afraid it’s another instance of the dangerous trend called “Swatting.”
The prank caller had reportedly lost in the video game “Call of Duty” to Rafael Castillo, 17, of Long Beach. Out of revenge, the prankster reported to police that he was, in fact, Rafael and that he had just killed his mother.
Authorities dispatched helicopters over the house, fire trucks, and rushed in more than 60 officers with weapons drawn — including elite members of Nassau County’s special operations unit, the New York Post reported.
“I thought there was a fire at my house. I ran up and saw my mom running out, I didn’t know what was going on,” said Rafael’s brother, Jose, 21. “Then one of the police officers said somebody called and said that the mother and brother of somebody in this house was killed.”
A standoff lasted two hours, partly because Rafael remained in the home with headphones in his ears, completely oblivious to the chaos outside.
“He didn’t realize anything was going on, he couldn’t hear anything,” Jose said. “I told him that there’s a bunch of cops outside that are looking for you.”
Long Beach Police Commissioner Michael Tangney said they didn’t find anything at the Castillo’s home, and that this is just the latest example of the “Swatting” game.
“In this … bizarre world of Swatting, you get points for the helicopter, for the police cars, for the SWAT team, for the type of entry,” he said. “It’s very sophisticated. Unfortunately, it’s very dangerous.”
Cops were trying to track down the prankster by tracing his electronic footprints.
(Photo: New York Post)