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News & Politics News & Politics

Missouri Family Victims of 'Swatting'

Posted by on Jan. 30, 2014 at 10:40 AM
  • 7 Replies

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A Platte County family is now the victim of a crime that often targets celebrities like Justin Bieber and Tom Cruise.

It is called "swatting," and the FBI first coined the phrase in 2008 after a group of hackers made phony 911 calls to send SWAT teams to homes of people they wanted to get revenge against.

Platte County prosecutors say 20-year-old Richard Zimmer also wanted revenge when he "swatted" a Platte City family.

"This is one of those crimes that has become a copycat crime," Platte County prosecutor Eric Zahnd said.

"Swatting" spread around the country. Celebrities like Justin Timberlake, Rihanna and Ryan Seacrest became targets.

A family in Platte City neighborhood off 125th Street was the latest "swatting" victim.

Investigators say Zimmer called Platte County dispatchers and told them he was holding a man hostage inside a home off 125th street.

"...that if $300,000 was not delivered to the airport, he would first put a knife through the neck of this person, and secondly, that the house was rigged with explosives," Zahnd said.

A large number of Platte County deputies responded to the scene to find the call was fake.

"Any time you have tense situations and firearms, there is a potential for danger," said Erik Holland with the Platte County Sheriff's Office.

"Swatting" also drains emergency resources.

"We are taking officers away from their duties to keep us all safe to go to something that turns out to be false, which created a very dangerous situation," Zahnd said.

According to court documents, Zimmer made the phone call from Kokomo, IN.

Investigators say he was trying to get revenge against a 15-year-old girl who he thought mistreated his girlfriend.

Platte County deputies drove to Indiana on Wednesday to pick up Zimmer and bring him to Missouri to face one charge of making a false bomb threat.

If convicted of the Class D felony, Zimmer could be sentenced to up to four years in prison.

Platte County prosecutors say in similar cases they have successfully made criminals pay back the county the cost of responding to a fake criminal report.


http://www.kctv5.com/story/24580678/platte-city-family-becomes-victims-of-swatting-hoax
by on Jan. 30, 2014 at 10:40 AM
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Replies (1-7):
pamelax3
by Member on Jan. 30, 2014 at 3:49 PM

he needs to pay the city/county for the wasted resources

Billiejeens
by Ruby Member on Jan. 30, 2014 at 4:09 PM

According to court documents, Zimmer made the phone call from Kokomo, IN.

Good lord - has no one ever heard of Burner Phones.

Today's criminals - phhttt.

kcangel63
by Amanda on Jan. 30, 2014 at 4:11 PM
1 mom liked this
Seriously! I'll just call from my home phone. >.<

Quoting Billiejeens:

According to court documents, Zimmer made the phone call from Kokomo, IN.


Good lord - has no one ever heard of Burner Phones.


Today's criminals - phhttt.

kcangel63
by Amanda on Jan. 30, 2014 at 4:12 PM
1 mom liked this
They're all fortunate the police didn't end up shooting anyone.

Quoting pamelax3:

he needs to pay the city/county for the wasted resources

pamelax3
by Member on Jan. 31, 2014 at 12:10 PM

 Very Very True.

Quoting kcangel63: They're all fortunate the police didn't end up shooting anyone.

Quoting pamelax3:

he needs to pay the city/county for the wasted resources

 

JanuaryBaby06
by on Jan. 31, 2014 at 1:52 PM

This is insane... I didn't know this type of crap even happened in real life.. Seems like osmething you'd see in amovie..... the bad guy gets everyone to one location then commits a crime somewhere else.

gludwig2000
by Gina on Jan. 31, 2014 at 6:57 PM

Yeah, that isn't a prank imo, and he should be held responsible for paying all of the bills for that call.

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