A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from May 28, 2012
SWATing (Swatting)

"Swatting” (also “SWATing” or “SWATting") is when someone calls emergency service (such as “911") from an undetectable location to report a nonexistent crime at an address. The “swatter” hopes that a “SWAT” team (special weapons and tactics) will arrive at the address with guns drawn, frightening or possibly shooting the innocent and unsuspecting inhabitants.

The first “swatting” incident occurred on May 1, 2005, at the suburban Colorado Springs home of Richard Gasper, a TSA screener at the local Colorado Springs Municipal Airport. The word “swatting” first appeared in a newspaper by at least October 13, 2007.

In 2012, the homes of three conservative bloggers were “swatted,” popularizing the very dangerous prank as a political crime.

Wikipedia: Swatting
Swatting is an attempt to trick an emergency service (such as a 9-1-1 dispatcher) into dispatching an emergency response team. The name is derived from SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics), one type of such team.

History and current status
Swatting has its origins in prank calls to emergency services. Increasing sophistication of the techniques employed and the objectives, notably attempts to direct response units of particular types, and in particular attempts to cause SWAT teams to be dispatched to particular locations, spawned the term swatting. The term may have been coined by the FBI, which investigates these activities that are in the United States or are US-related.

Wikipedia: SWAT
A SWAT (special weapons and tactics) team is an elite tactical unit in various national law enforcement departments. They are trained to perform high-risk operations that fall outside of the abilities of regular officers. SWAT team members’ duties include: performing hostage rescues and counter-terrorism operations; serving high risk arrest and search warrants; subduing barricaded suspects; and engaging heavily-armed criminals. SWAT teams are often equipped with specialized firearms including submachine guns, assault rifles, breaching shotguns, riot control agents, stun grenades, and sniper rifles. They have specialized equipment including heavy body armor, ballistic shields, entry tools, armored vehicles, advanced night vision optics, and motion detectors for covertly determining the positions of hostages or hostage takers inside enclosed structures.

The first SWAT team was established by inspector Daryl Gates in the Los Angeles Police Department in 1968. Since then, many American and Canadian police departments, especially in major cities and at the federal and state-levels of government, have established their own elite units under various names; these units, regardless of their official name, are referred to collectively as SWAT teams in colloquial usage.

Published: October 14, 2007 12:01 AM EST
Updated: October 13, 2007 11:55 PM EST
Latest Internet crime hits home
Online prankster’s fake 911 call leads Millcreek police to empty home


The suspect, an adult male living somewhere in the United States, engaged in what the police call “swatting” --a relatively new and high-tech crime. In a typical swatting case, a prankster calls police in the hope of getting a special weapons and tactics team—a SWAT team, hence “swatting’”—to someone else’s residence.

ABC News (from PCWorld)
Couple Swarmed by SWAT Team After 911 ‘Hack’
By Robert McMillan
October 18, 2007
A Washington State teenager is facing 18 years in prison on charges that he used his PC to access Orange County, California’s 911 emergency response system and convinced the sheriff’s department into storming an area couple’s home with a heavily armed SWAT team.
Low-cost calling card services such as SpoofCard have been available for years, allowing customers to make it appear that their calls are coming from any number they wish.

In June, four people were charged in Texas with operating a chat line where they taught people how to make false 911 calls, sending emergency response teams to targeted victims, a practice known as “swatting.” In a June 12 swatting incident, a swatter called up Cleburne, Texas’s 911 dispatch using a commercially available spoof card and Skype and then “stated that he had shot and killed members of the family, that he was holding hostages, that he was using hallucinogenic drugs, that he was armed with an AK-47, and he demanded $50,00 and transportation across the U.S. border to Mexico,” according to court filings.

The High Road
erik the bold
December 24, 2007, 12:10 PM
Possibly another reason to get rid of SWAT teams…

From: http://www.khou.com/topstories/stories/khou071223_tnt_swating.44853527.html
Dangerous prank calls draw SWAT teams to unsuspecting homes
By JASON TRAHAN / The Dallas Morning News

As SWAT officers surrounded an Alvarado home in rural Johnson County, they steeled themselves for a confrontation with what they believed to be a drug-crazed man armed with an AK-47 who had already killed his wife, taken hostages and wanted to kill police.

But what they found was an innocent 60-year-old trucker. No bloody crime scene, no assault rifle – only unanswered questions.

Authorities soon realized they had encountered a disturbing and dangerous new prank that has been labeled “SWATing.”

Google Books
February 2008, CSO, pg. 16, col. 2:
Phone Pranks Gone Evil
“Swatters” have turned 911 into a weapon

Phreaking subculture alive and well
February 29, 2008 9:01 AM
I had always thought that manipulating Child Protection Services in order to make someones life miserable would be one of the most dastardly social engineering type-things you could do to someone. This ‘swatting’ crew not only did that, but upped the ante considerably. Black hat indeed.
posted by Roach at 11:38 AM on February 29, 2008

Teenage Hacker Is Blind, Brash and in the Crosshairs of the FBI
By Kevin Poulsen 02.29.08
At 4 in the morning of May 1, 2005, deputies from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office converged on the suburban Colorado Springs home of Richard Gasper, a TSA screener at the local Colorado Springs Municipal Airport. They were expecting to find a desperate, suicidal gunman holding Gasper and his daughter hostage.
A federal Joint Terrorism Task Force would later conclude that Gasper had been the victim of a new type of nasty hoax, called “swatting,” that was spreading across the United States. Pranksters were phoning police with fake murders and hostage crises, spoofing their caller IDs so the calls appear to be coming from inside the target’s home. The result: police SWAT teams rolling to the scene, sometimes bursting into homes, guns drawn.

Police: ‘Swatting’ Is Dangerous
Posted: Nov 13, 2008 10:36 PM CST
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Murfreesboro police dispatched SWAT officers for a 911 call they later determined was a hoax.

Special Weapons and Tactics officers rushed to the scene, but found out there it wasn’t an emergency.

Police departments nationwide are reporting similar incidents known as swatting. Callers try to get SWAT units to respond to their prank calls.

Google Books
Wild West 2.0:
How to protect and restore your online reputation on the untamed social frontier

By Michael Fertik and David Thompson
New York, NY: American Management Association
Pg. 132:
One of the most dangerous online attacks is a practice called “SWATing.” This frightening tactic is still very rare, but there have been several well-publicized incidents. The term “SWATing” comes from the acronym for the heavily armed “SWAT” units found in many police departments. The goal of a “SWATing” attack is to cause the police to break down the victim’s door on the basis of a false report of a standoff or burglary in progress.

May 27, 2012
CNN Contributor Erickson and Family Targeted in Latest ‘SWATing’ Attack
by Breitbart News
Erik Erickson, editor-in-chief of RedState.com and a CNN political contributor, reports that he is the latest conservative to be “SWAT"ed.

Local police received a call from an individual claiming to be Erickson, stating that an accidental shooting had occurred at his home. Says Erickson, “Tonight, my family was sitting around the kitchen table eating dinner when sheriffs deputies pulled up in the driveway.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Military/Religion /Health • (1) Comments • Monday, May 28, 2012 • Permalink