Aug. 12 (UPI) — Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf, a 16-year-old Pennsylvania native who won the $3 million prize in the Fortnite World Cup, was “swatted” during a live Twitch stream.
Giersdorf was playing Fortnite’s “Arena Trios” game mode with friends when the incident occurred. During the live-stream, Giersdorf was heard talking to his father near the end of a match.
“I’ve been swatted,” Giersdorf said before disappearing for about 10 minutes.
“Swatting” is a criminal harassment tactic in which an individual makes a prank call to emergency services in an attempt to bring law enforcement, particularly a SWAT team, to the unsuspecting target’s residence.
According to ESPN and TMZ, police received a phone call from someone acting as Giersdorf on Saturday. The prank caller, believed to be from Europe, told police he had killed his father and tied up his mother in the garage.
Giersdorf said the incident deescalated after an officer recognized him.
“Well, that’s a new one,” Giersdorf said when he came back to the stream. “They came in with guns, bro. They literally pulled up. … That’s scary. … The internet’s [expletive] crazy.”
Tyler R. Barriss, a 26-year-old man in Los Angeles, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in March for “swatting” an individual. He staged the incident after losing in a game of Call of Duty.
Barriss pleaded guilty to 51 federal charges related to fake phone calls and threats. He falsely reported a shooting Dec. 28, 2017, in Wichita, Kan., that resulted in the death of 28-year-old Andrew Finch.