David Hogg, the Parkland school shooting survivor who has become a target of derision for his gun-control advocacy, was the victim of a so-called “swatting” prank, WPLG-TV (Miami) is reporting.
“Swatting,” for those not familiar, is a prank (and a crime) in which a prankster calls the police to report some terrible (and non-existent) crime in progress at the intended victim’s location, with the intention of sending a SWAT team.
Law enforcement sources say that a phone call came into the Broward Sheriff’s Office claiming that there was a “hostage situation” at Hogg’s home. Coral Springs Fire Rescue personnel arrived at the scene and determined that there was nothing untoward going on inside.
Hogg was not at the home at the time.
In a phone call with the Miami ABC affiliate, Hogg claimed that the prankster “swatted” him in order to create a distraction.
“I think it’s really a distraction from what we’re trying to fix here. Which is the massive gun violence epidemic in this country.”
Since the February 14 shooting, Hogg has become a prominent advocate for gun control – and in fact, the graduating senior intends to take a “gap year” before college to work on various political campaigns in advance of the 2018 mid-term elections.
However, with that advocacy, Hogg has also become a target of intense criticism, some of which has backfired horribly. For example, Fox News host Laura Ingraham famously claimed that Hogg was “whining,” which was followed by an advertiser boycott that saw her lose two dozen sponsors (Ingraham has since apologized, as reported in a previous Inquisitr story). Similarly, as reported by the Inquisitr, St. Louis radio and TV personality Jamie Allman threatened to “ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s a**,” a statement that later cost him his job.
“Swatting,” meanwhile, has become a thing over the past year or so. And although the media sometimes reports it as a prank, it is anything but – as it sometimes becomes deadly.
As The Verge reported in January, 28-year-old Andrew Finch died when a Wichita SWAT team showed up at his home and opened fire after reports of a hostage situation. As it would later be revealed, the entire situation emerged over a dispute in the online game Call of Duty and a $1.50 bet – and Finch wasn’t even a part of the dispute. Tyler Barriss was later deemed to have made the fake phone call that resulted in Finch’s death. He’s been charged with involuntary manslaughter and two other counts.