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Who’s Swatting Me Now?

427px-Members_of_the_60th_Security_Police_Squadron's_Base_Swat_TeamI feel sorry for celebrities. All of that wealth (money), admiration (people liking and respecting you), and influence. What a sad life.

And there is now a new reason to pity (feel bad for the suffering of) celebrities. They’re being “swatted.”

To swat someone is to pull a prank (play a joke) on them by getting emergency services such as the police, ambulance services (emergency vehicle to take you to the hospital), or firefighters to go to someone’s home when there is no emergency, often in the middle of the night or another inconvenient time. Usually, an anonymous (identity not known) caller calls 9-1-1, the emergency services phone number, and reports some type of problem or emergency. When the emergency vehicle arrives at the address, they find no emergency. Not only does this waste (use for no purpose) taxpayer money (money paid by citizens for public services) and tie up (occupy) emergency services, it’s a nuisance to the person they’re trying to “help.”

The term “swatting” is a relatively new one and comes from the acronym (word made from the first letter of a phrase or group of words) SWAT. SWAT stands for Special Weapons And Tactics. (Weapons  are tools we use to hurt each other, such as guns and bombs, and tactics are actions or strategies we carefully plan and use to defeat the enemy).

A SWAT team is a special group of police officers who operate like a military (army) unit and are called in (summoned; used) for difficult, high-risk, and dangerous operations that regular police are not trained to handle, such as hostage situations (where someone is holding one or more people and not letting them leave, usually threatening them with violence, unless the hostage-takers’ demands are met). The idea behind swatting is to bring a large number of police — or other emergency workers — to a place quickly and to create an emergency-type situation where none really exists.

Swatting is actually against the law, since you can be arrested (taken in by the police) if you report something to the police that isn’t true. However, with the technology of today, swatters use techniques that make it difficult for their reporting to be traced (followed to the source).

Many celebrities have been the victim of swatting, including the singers Rihanna, Justin Bieber, and Sean Combs (also known as Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, or just Diddy). Actors Tom Cruise, Miley Cyrus, and Ashton Kutcher have also been victims of swatting.

Too much money, too much admiration, and now swatting. I’m more grateful than ever that I’m not a celebrity.

Does swatting exist where you live?  Are there laws against it?

~ Lucy

Photo Credit:  Members of the 60th Security Police Squadron’s Base Swat Team from Wikipedia

P.S. Thank you for all of the birthday wishes. It “takes the sting out of” (makes it less painful) getting another year older!

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  • 10 Responses to “Who’s Swatting Me Now?”

    1. Dan Says:

      Hi Lucy and everyone else out there.

      Personally, I got to know the SWAT team through a video game sevral years ago. It was kind of funny playing as the team commander.
      One thing that used to get me excited was the moment you got into a room and there was someone shouting “PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR!” “GET TO THE FLOOR!”and smilar phrases.
      That was many years ago. Now games are more sophisticated than that. Some, I would say are work of art nowadays.

      What an Idiotic thing to do is this Swatting! I do not even find that funny. I like pranks like the guy at the drive-through and such.

      Thank you all.

    2. emiliano Says:

      No way Lucy, still you are a young nice girl, that´s for sure.
      To me it is worst by all means but just I do what you have done, listening to
      my friends saying happy birthday to you it is enough to forget about my
      real age.
      +++++++

      No yet, I don´t have any notice about that here in Spain, but sure in a few
      time it could be posible as we use to go two or three years after EE.UU:
      modes.

      Here in Spain there a special pólice forces that are called “Los Geos” and
      they are more or less the same like SWAT, SAA, GROM, KSK, SPETSNAZ..
      and so on.

      Hitting by terrorist acts along years all over every city or place in Spain
      have been the rule for more tan fourty years.
      Madrid was the city were terrorist acts were more frequently and there
      have been nearly one thousand persons killed by them along the years.
      So GEOS it is a very special pólice forces to fight against them, but
      also Guardia Civil has been a very specialized pólice to guard the Spain´s
      security.
      Dozens of Guadia Civil forces and other citizens have been killed for
      these terrorists, I do prefer not even mentioning them as I feel nausea
      thinking in this kind of persons?. Well, they are not persons by all
      means, they are criminals who now claim to be out from jails.

      Yes, Spain is different, and sometimes I feel shame about this kind of
      things that happens in my country.

      My best to you Lucy along this new year for you.
      Be as happy as possible and I know you can be happy, that´s for sure.

      emiliano

    3. Peter Says:

      Sorry , but I don’t feel sorry about them.
      They make tons of money playing in movies
      A little disturbance here or there is nothing compared to what they earn.

      Yours

    4. emiliano Says:

      Following with the subject, along years Belfast and Spain were the lands in West Europe
      where terrorist were doing theirs terrorist acts.
      About the first, I have little to say as it is not my country and there were both or three
      different groups of people that were fighting among them.

      Here were a quite different subject, there was a group of people that kill peaceful persons
      that have done nothing, even children and women that were near their real victim, an
      empresary, a newspaper writer, a pólice, a man or woman that thinks different from them.
      All member of Justice or Universities were in danger, and so forth.

      Now every person, even the govermen, wants to forget all this just because it seems
      there is some kind of peace, but there are other people (me too) that can´t forget
      because his father, her husband or her son, her/his brother have been killed for nothing.
      Only because they though other way and said it.

      It is really a shame for this country if we don´t remember what have happened along
      more than fourty years (one thusand killed persons and all their families than some
      way they were killed too).
      May N.Y. or EE.UU. forgent what happened with the “Tween Towers” and the persons that
      were killed inside them?. Their families? All the people who feels themselves as citizens
      of USA?. NO.
      Here it is happening now, people forget because it is more easy, and what is even worst
      the persons who support these terrorist are now ruling that part of land they call is not
      Spain. Till the momento my memory is good, and I never could forget the TV. images
      of people destroyed by the bomb cars or a shoot in a shot in the nape of the neck.

      Yes, that´s real for years and years here in this country.
      Spain is different by all means.

      Sorry Lucy, but sometimes is good to remember what has happened along the years
      in a country and don´t forget the victims and their families.
      Justice it is necessary and it seems here we are forgetting what this Word means
      in pro of I don´t know what, peace?. In fact No, because these people held their
      weapong yet.

      Thanks so much Lucy, to give me the opportunity of saying this Spain´s recet history.

      My best to you derar. emililano

    5. Peter Says:

      Dear Jeff,
      On the latest English Cafe on the families writer
      You say , ” She was born and grown up in Russia.”
      One question comes to mind here.
      How did she get that far in English that she managed to write the tall novels.
      U never mention it during the cafe

      You know , we , as English learners , can follow her steps
      She could be a good example for us.

      At the time she immigrated to U.S. , she was grown-up enough to travel alone

      So , one may wonder , how did she manage to battle with the hardship of a new land and at the same time manage to acquire English and writing skills good enough to become a famous novelist in English language

      Any thoughts you can share with us on that

      I believe , it is as a valid question as any

      Thanks

    6. parviz Says:

      Hi Lucy
      Thank you very much for this brand new topic.
      It makes me remember when I was a kid, along with some fellows we used to call 911, reported an unreal emergency situation.
      We used to do it frequently.
      But now I have read your post, I think it wasn’t any fun to make the SWAT team to leave to help a victim that didn’t exist.
      But in the case of celebrities it seems to be different.
      There must be different reason why people (even their fans) decide to play pranks on celebrities. It might be because celebrities want to be the focus of the news.
      or maybe people are not happy with their performances.
      Whoever plays this prank should stop it soon, because, let’s face it, Not only does this waste money received from taxpayers, but also misuses our emergency service.
      I agree with the fact that they receive a lot of money from their Jobs, but never overlook the enormity and importance of their task.
      if we don’t like someone doesn’t mean we should make their lives sheer misery.

      thank you,
      parviz

    7. Yáskara Says:

      “Swatting” is very common in Brazil. Not just with celebrities but with the public service. It prejudices the rescue service offered by Service Mobile Emergency (SAMU – a type of ambulance), the firefighters and polices across the country.

      Use equipment and staff without need is increasing every day and who suffer the consequences is the population. At the same time, hundreds of real emergencies are happening and people that are needing help can not be rescued.

      I do not use to wish bad things to the others, but one day, these “pranksters” (I don´t know if it´s correct) may need some help and will not get it because a person like him/her will be “having a fun”.

    8. Lassana Says:

      Hi Everybody,

      Swatting is common in France. Often it is teenagers who make jokes.

      Certain call police, ambulance services, or yet firefighters.

      Sometimes others ring to door of people’s homes, I think this kind is soft.

      Currently, there is a law about this acts, for properly you have say.

      I think the law is the good way to handle those bad acts, because that can save lifes of People who need help.

      Thank for the topic !

      See you soon.

    9. Cauat Says:

      Hi Lucy,
      First, the more I read this bolg, the more I like it. It contains various kinds of informations. I’m on pins and needles(haha,I get this expression in ESL POD-891)everytime you update the blog, I’m so looking forward to find what would be talk on the blog, just like a child open his gift.
      Now back to the blog topic something about the celebrity. I have one funny suggestion, I found Jeff has a good sound, especially he sang the song about little Benny rabbit in the ESL cafe. So,you sould talk more about cartoon songs in pod & cafe transcript, and Mr.Jeff has to sing everytime!
      I’m sure he will become a popular person. It just a matter of time he become a celebrity?And you——the song writer.

    10. Willy Says:

      I never knew about swatting, that is total new concepts for me.
      However I don’t like it because it waste public money and keep busy public official to do their work.
      Here in Italy we used to say “Idiots’ Mother is always pregnant”, in order to say that stupids have been always existed and always they will exist.