“Swatting” means calling in to 911 to report a dangerous situation that requires a SWAT team to deal with it. A situation that doesn’t exist. (That probably doesn’t require a SWAT team but that’s another story.) In October, after a video game store was swatted, New Jersey assemblyman Paul Moriarty sponsored a bill with penalties for people who practice the “sick and disturbing” act of “swatting.” Specifically, jail time and a fine of up to $150k. On Saturday, the day after the legislator renewed his call for action, Mr. Moriarty was himself swatted. nj.com tells the tale . . .
State Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (D-Gloucester) said he was watching the Masters golf tournament and doing his taxes at home on Saturday afternoon in Washington Township when he got a call from the police.
“The person on the phone says they were calling from police dispatch and wanted to know if everything is OK at my house,” Moriarty said. “I said ‘Yeah, why? They said ‘we have a report of a shooting at your home.'”
The dispatcher then asked Moriarty to describe what he was wearing and step outside.
“I look out my front door. There’s six cop cars. They have the street closed off. They have helmets, flak jackets and rifles,” Moriarty said. “I walk out and walk towards them. They motion me to keep walking towards them. The minute I walked out the door, I was still on the phone with the dispatch person, I said ‘I think I’ve just been swatted.’ It just then occurred to me what happened.” . . .
“I’m thinking someone read about the bill and some sick, evil person thought it would be funny to send the police to my house on one of these false reports,” Moriarty said.
Will this incident put Moriarty’s bill on the front burner? Remember, we’re talking New Jersey here. [h/t Pascal]