MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Minnesota man said his family is lucky to be okay after a dangerous prank sent armed police to his house.
It’s called swatting. Callers fake an emergency to get police to respond to an innocent person’s home.
In this case, the caller told police they were at a home in St. Cloud, someone had been shot, and the shooter was pointing a gun at them.
In the gaming community — especially those that are streamed live — Koopatroopa787 is well known. Air Force Veteran Josh Peters makes a living from a partnership with Twitch TV where thousands often tune in to watch him play “Clash of Clans” live.
He was sitting in his basement studio/bedroom Wednesday when through his noise-cancelling headphones he heard rumbling upstairs.
“So, I took my headphones off for just a moment and then I heard someone run down the steps,” Peters said. “It was my mom, and she said ‘Josh there are police outside. Do you know about this?'”
When he got upstairs, his mother and father were on the ground. Peters was told to also get down by the 10 armed officers now inside his home.
“This is where my little brother came down the steps when the officers had us down on the floor on our face with our arms spread wide,” he said. “I yelled and said ‘I stream on Twitch TV, I’m being swatted right now. This is probably a prank!'”
Peters thinks someone watching him play the video game called in the dangerous prank. He says if he had not heard all the commotion, and officers had to force themselves into the home, things could have been a lot worse.
“I’m just very glad that they were well-trained and they handled it very professionally,” Peters said.
He went back on line after the incident, emotional about the impact the raid had on his family, especially his 10 year old brother.
“He’s 10-years-old and he had 10 armed officers pointing a gun at him,” Peters said in the stream, breaking into tears.
He says he has no idea why he was targeted. The attackers called police again a few hours after the incident, saying Peters was despondent and suicidal because of it. This time police just called to make sure everything was okay.