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Is Swatting a Crime in Wisconsin?


Tyler Rai Barriss, a 25-year-old California resident, was sentenced in March 2019 to 20 years in prison for “swatting” Andrew Finch, a 28-year-old Kansas man, who ended up being fatally shot by police in December 2017.

In retaliation over an online bet involving the game “Call of Duty,” a gamer from Ohio named Casey Viner asked Barriss to make a false report to Kansas police to a Wichita address, assuming it was the household of Shane Gaskill.

Barriss reported that a shooting and kidnapping occurred at the address Viner provided. However, the address was old, so authorities ending up confronting Finch instead.

Barriss originally pled guilty to 51 federal charges stemming from making fake emergency calls, including one count involving the death of Finch.

What is Swatting?

Swatting is defined as an act to make a prank call to emergency services to try to bring about the dispatch of armed police officers, specifically the SWAT team, to a specific address.

Wisconsin Law on Swatting

According to state law, knowingly making a fake 911 call is considered a misdemeanor, punishable by a jail sentence of up to 90 days and a maximum $600. For a second or subsequent offense within four years, it is a Class H felony, which carries a prison term of up to six years and a fine no more than $10,000.

If you have been arrested for swatting, it is in your best interested to seek legal help from an experienced criminal defense attorney. For more information, contact Cherella Law today.

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