A Queens teenager who called Nassau County police in February, falsely claiming his parents were in distress, is a suspect in several hundred “swatting” cases nationwide, police said.
The teen, whose name is not being released, was arrested Thursday and charged with first-degree reckless endangerment and two counts of falsely reporting an incident, police said in a news release.
Swatting, a trend among online gamers, is when someone anonymously files a false report with the goal of getting law enforcement to raid an opposing gamer’s home or business.
In the February call the teen allegedly told police that his father was shot and his mother was tied up at a residence on Sunnyside Boulevard in Plainview.
Over the past few years, other such false calls relating to the same address had been made, requiring emergency police responses, the news release said.
The February call was determined to be a “swatting event,” police said, prompting an investigation that included crimes against property squad detectives, prosecutors from Bergen County, New Jersey, the NYPD and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The teen was arrested at his home in Queens, and police said in the news release that he is “involved in several hundred swatting cases across the United States.”