A husband and dad of two found himself living a real-life nightmare while live streaming the video game Minecraft.
With his wife and daughters, ages 8 and 9, asleep in adjacent bedrooms, 31-year-old Mike Dolan was into the throws of the game when he found himself staring down guns that were aimed at his face.
Those watching live stream saw it all go down!
“Oh my God!” he screams.
“They’re armed. They are point right at me…I was terrified,” Dolan later told WFTS, Channel 28 in Tampa.
Bradenton police told the station that 911 operators received a call from someone saying she was Dolan’s 12-year-old daughter (he doesn’t have a 12-year-old daughter.)
“The person that called said ‘I [am] an ex military with an assault rifle. I’d been drinking. Killed my wife in the kitchen,'” Dolan told the station.
When SWAT team members looked around, they realized it was a hoax, called “swatting.”
Over the weekend, there was another case of swatting.
A woman near Saratoga Springs, Utah was playing a streaming video game using a website call Twitch. And before long, police came in force to her home. Her husband was home too.
“The officers started giving me orders: ‘Put my hands up, walk backwards toward them,’ that sort of thing. After they had put me in custody, laid me on the ground, put handcuffs on me, I explained to them that this was an Internet prank,” the woman’s husband told KSL TV in Salt Lake City.
And late last week, it happened at a Littleton, Colorado office complex.
“The caller stated that he had just shot multiple people, multiple co-workers, at his office building over here,” Police Chief Doug Stephens reported KTLA in Los Angeles.
In what at one point seemed to have targeted celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Justin Beiber, swatting has expanded nationwide.
It’s when an anonymous person uses software to disguise his or her phone number, identity and location and make a prank call that causes SWAT Team members to respond. It puts lives in danger and is a waste of resources.
Mike Dolan from Florida thinks he knows why people do it.
“They are doing this because they’re hoping you get shot. They’re hoping you get injured so they can see it on a live screen,” Dolan said.