Teen from Sask. facing multiple charges in U.S. and Canada related to alleged 'swatting' hoaxes

·1 min read
Swatting is the practice of making false reports to police in hopes of provoking an armed response. (Jim Staubitser/Newsday/Associated Press - image credit)
Swatting is the practice of making false reports to police in hopes of provoking an armed response. (Jim Staubitser/Newsday/Associated Press - image credit)

A 15-year-old boy who used to live in Saskatoon is facing several charges — many south of the border — related to a series of alleged swatting incidents.

Swatting is the practice of making false reports to police in hopes of provoking an armed response.

Saskatoon police said the boy used an internet VoIP phone service to call the police department of a large U.S. city and that the call prompted that department to roll-out its SWAT team. He also made many other calls to other police forces, schools, airports, businesses and homes reporting violence with weapons and people with critical injuries, police said.

All of the reports were hoaxes and nobody was injured, but officials say tens of thousands of dollars were wasted chasing down the calls at locations across the U.S. and Canada.

Saskatoon police said the youth was identified through investigation by the Edmonton Police Service Cybercrime Unit, Saskatoon Police Service, the Regional Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT), the United States Secret Service and the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Police searched a home in Saskatoon last November and seized evidence.

The boy was arrested Wednesday by Louisiana sheriffs, to face a New Jersey charge of calling in a fake bomb threat.

"The youth is also facing extradition to other jurisdictions in the United States to face charges and prosecution for the offences he committed while residing in Saskatoon," police said.