An Air Force veteran and gamer from St. Cloud was the victim of a dangerous "swatting" prank that sent armed police to his house.
Joshua Peters, 27, makes a living from streaming games through Twitch TV, and was chatting to 60,000 viewers while playing RuneScape when officers arrived at his door and ordered his family to get down on the ground, according to the Daily News.
It emerged that he had been the victim of swatting, a prank where someone makes a call to police that prompts an armed response to an unsuspecting, and innocent, target.
According to the Guardian, a hoaxer had found Peters' address and called the St. Cloud Police Department, reporting that someone "had shot their roommate and now they were pointing their gun at them," adding two gunshot noises for added effect.
In a posting on YouTube made after the raid, a clearly shaken Peters said: "I see you posting my address. I had police point a gun at my little brothers because of you. They could have been shot, they could have died. Because you chose to swat my stream."
Peters plays as Koopatroopa787 on Twitch, and was streaming for an audience while wearing noise-cancelling headphones when police arrived, ABC News notes.
When he got upstairs, WCCO reports his mother and father were on the ground and he was told to get down by 10 armed officers in his home. He told the station: "I yelled and said ‘I stream on twitch TV, I’m being swatted right now this is probably a prank!'"
The danger of swatting
The Guardian notes that the intention with swatting is to scare the victim, but the more serious the threats made on the call, the more dangerous it becomes, with previous swatting pranks ending resulting in innocent parties being killed.
He told ABC News that police officers who raided his home were "very professional about it" once Peters explained that he was the likely victim of swatting.
He is now working with St. Cloud police to find the culprit, but the Guardian reports that there are no clear suspects at this point.
You can watch Peters' video after the raid below, but be warned it does contain some offensive language.
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