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VCDL reports first SWATing incident

skidmark

Campaign Veteran
Joined
Jan 15, 2007
Messages
10,449
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Valhalla
From today's VCDL ALERT

In the first case that I know of in Virginia, a gun owner who was open carrying has gotten “SWATTED” - where someone makes a false report to 911. In this case the claim was that the gun owner had robbed a 7-11. In reality the gun owner simply went into the 7–11 to purchase something and then left.

The good news is that due to the professionalism of the Fairfax County Police, the gun owner, when found and stopped, was not put in unreasonable danger while FFC PD investigated the charge.

At tonight’s VCDL meeting I will play the 911 recording, which I just received. The victim, Robert Dickens, as well as some representatives of the Fairfax County PD will be there and will talk to the group about the incident and SWATTING.

For those who can’t attend tonight, I will have more information on the incident, how VCDL is going to handle any other such events, etc. in the next Alert.

....

See you tonight!

Fellowship starts at 7:30 PM and the meeting is called to order at 8:00 PM.

The meeting is open to the public, so bring along some friends and family!

Directions: http://vcdl.org/node/180

This is sufficiently of note that I am going to try to make both meeting, even if it means going North of the Ni after dark.

stay safe.
 

Wolf_shadow

Activist Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2006
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Accomac, Virginia, USA
I can't attend due to location, travel time and work responsibility. So guess I have to wait. Was the person making the false report arrested? If not why?

sent using tapatalk
 

The Truth

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Henrico
Damn, I have to work tonight...

Pretty messed up situation. Some people are sickos.
 

jmelvin

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Lynchburg, Virginia, USA
I just read this bit of information in the VCDL Alert e-mail. I do hope that the person who made a false report will be arrested and prosecuted.

As we already know, the anti-self defense crowd is not against violence, they simply wish to be the only ones who can render it and will threaten such against those who disagree.
 

kb4cvn

Regular Member
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Messages
22
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Amherst County, VA
Someone getting killed by LEO's because of SWATing Incident -- Penality?

Having not occurred in the Commonwealth yet, in the event of a false report to police on a OC'er, which results in the death at the hands of the Police in their too often overzealous response (IE: John B. Geer in Fairfax County in 2013), I wonder if a Bill could be passed in Richmond, codifying that if a false complaint is given to Law Enforcement (aka: SWATing) which results in the death of an innocent person who was simply exercising their 2nd Amendment Right, the person making the false complaint could be additionally charged with CAPITAL MURDER.

Comments Anyone?
 

Grapeshot

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Having not occurred in the Commonwealth yet, in the event of a false report to police on a OC'er, which results in the death at the hands of the Police in their too often overzealous response (IE: John B. Geer in Fairfax County in 2013), I wonder if a Bill could be passed in Richmond, codifying that if a false complaint is given to Law Enforcement (aka: SWATing) which results in the death of an innocent person who was simply exercising their 2nd Amendment Right, the person making the false complaint could be additionally charged with CAPITAL MURDER.

Comments Anyone?
I do not think that there is much chance of this making it through the General Assembly as Capital Murder.
https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+18.2-31

However, just as the driver of getaway vehicle can be charged with murder/homicide when a death occurs as a result of their participation, so should the caller/complainant be exposed when a death or injury occurs as a result of their actions.

Think that even property loss/damaged should be laid squarely in their lap - but with corresponding lesser charges.

These should be placed before our legislators for very serious consideration. Teeth are needed, sharp ones.
 
Last edited:

davidmcbeth

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earth's crust
From today's VCDL ALERT



This is sufficiently of note that I am going to try to make both meeting, even if it means going North of the Ni after dark.

stay safe.

I don't think that the PD was professional AT ALL. They stopped someone without RAS or PC, harassed him, and wasted his time.

The gun owner WAS put in unreasonable risk of death. A sneeze and they might have shot him to death, who knows.

These cowboycops who harassed the gun owner should be fired.
 

grylnsmn

Regular Member
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Dec 28, 2010
Messages
620
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Pacific Northwest
I wanted to make it to the meeting, but decided that self-preservation was more important. Yesterday was my fifth anniversary, and my wife (who can outshoot me) already had other plans for us.

I look forward to hearing a report from the meeting.
 

OC for ME

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I don't think that the PD was professional AT ALL. They stopped someone without RAS or PC, harassed him, and wasted his time.

The gun owner WAS put in unreasonable risk of death. A sneeze and they might have shot him to death, who knows.

These cowboycops who harassed the gun owner should be fired.
+1

Will FFC PD change their policy/procedures now that they have been SWATted? I suspect that the answer is no. If professionalism is defined as not ventilating a LAC then we might want to discuss the definition a little.

Is there news story?

Then there is this (earlier this year I think):
Matt : With the recent proliferation of "SWATting" pranks with high profile victims like Brian Krebs and Wolf Blitzer, is there anything Fairfax County can do to protect us from being assaulted by our own police? What is Fairfax doing to confirm the validity of information provided by 911 callers? What should a victim of a SWATting incident do?


Stephen Souder : Matt, SWATting 9-1-1 calls have been in the news frequently, particularly on the West Coast where many celebrities have been "SWATted." Fairfax has experienced two such calls lately, and the media reported one in Montgomery County Saturday evening. A person making a SWATting call could be located anywhere in the world and through technology available to them can make the call appear, by phone number and address, as if it were coming from an address in Fairfax County. Our 9-1-1 call takers are very proficient in soliciting information from callers; however, in a SWATting call, they're not actually speaking with a SWATter. The SWATter is communicating by text through a TTY method commonly used by the hearing impaired community. Consequently, when we ask questions of the SWATter, a TTY relay service is the intermediary. As was the case in Montgomery County on Saturday, an astute 9-1-1 supervisor recognized the call as suspicious. As in Fairfax County's experience, the information provided by the SWATter raised enough concern that appropriate checks were made to ensure the public's and officer safety before entering the location reported.

http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/askfairfax/Archive/ArchiveDiscussion.aspx?roomid=62
So, nothing will be done..maybe. It seems that SWATting is a issue but not that urgent a issue for FFC PD...I mean the dude had a gun, visible, right there on his hip...obviously a danger to the q-munity.
 

speed41ae

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Jul 2, 2010
Messages
281
Location
Richmond, VA
Having not occurred in the Commonwealth yet, in the event of a false report to police on a OC'er, which results in the death at the hands of the Police in their too often overzealous response (IE: John B. Geer in Fairfax County in 2013), I wonder if a Bill could be passed in Richmond, codifying that if a false complaint is given to Law Enforcement (aka: SWATing) which results in the death of an innocent person who was simply exercising their 2nd Amendment Right, the person making the false complaint could be additionally charged with CAPITAL MURDER.

Comments Anyone?

I do not think that there is much chance of this making it through the General Assembly as Capital Murder.
https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+18.2-31

I think that the best way to get this passed is to make it generic as possible. Make the law so that if someone makes a false report against anyone for any reason they are responsible for any damages and receive the same charges as if they were a getaway driver.
 

peter nap

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Valhalla
I think that the best way to get this passed is to make it generic as possible. Make the law so that if someone makes a false report against anyone for any reason they are responsible for any damages and receive the same charges as if they were a getaway driver.

The best way for it to get passed is for a cop to get killed while responding to a bogus call.
That'd get the ball rolling.
 

Grapeshot

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The best way for it to get passed is for a cop to get killed while responding to a bogus call.
That'd get the ball rolling.

Unfortunately, I think that would play right into a SWATing caller's wet dream too. I can just see the headline: Murdered By Lone Gunman - Officer Doe, 10 years with the dept and 2 meritorious awards, left behind a wife and 2 children.

An officer down call is going to generate a ton of potentially lethal response on the heretofore innocent gun owner and even quite possibly be used as evidence that "Yep - they were right. That gun carrier was really a bad dude."

LEA and individual LEOs must verify before unleashing the hounds from hell, not justify after a tragedy.

When the claim is made that I am doing something illegal/threatening but not witnessed by a LEO, then observe me and interview the caller - look for confirmation or denial. Do NOT call out a preemptive air strike on me while I sit there peacefully drinking my coffee.
 

Repeater

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Richmond, Virginia, USA
Remedy is to amend § 18.2-460. Obstructing justice; penalty.

Either modify subsection D to deal with SWATTing and make the penalty a felony or create a new subsection E to deal with this growing problem.

18.2-460. Obstructing justice; penalty.
D. Any person who knowingly and willfully makes any materially false statement or representation to a law-enforcement officer or an animal control officer employed pursuant to § 3.2-6555 who is in the course of conducting an investigation of a crime by another is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
 

OC for ME

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... When the claim is made that I am doing something illegal/threatening but not witnessed by a LEO, then observe me and interview the caller - look for confirmation or denial. Do NOT call out a preemptive air strike on me while I sit there peacefully drinking my coffee.
Uh? You do know what SWATting is, right?
 

va_tazdad

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Joined
Feb 23, 2009
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Richmond, Virginia, USA
unfortunately, i think that would play right into a swating caller's wet dream too. I can just see the headline: Murdered by lone gunman - officer doe, 10 years with the dept and 2 meritorious awards, left behind a wife and 2 children.

An officer down call is going to generate a ton of potentially lethal response on the heretofore innocent gun owner and even quite possibly be used as evidence that "yep - they were right. That gun carrier was really a bad dude."

lea and individual leos must verify before unleashing the hounds from hell, not justify after a tragedy.

When the claim is made that i am doing something illegal/threatening but not witnessed by a leo, then observe me and interview the caller - look for confirmation or denial. Do not call out a preemptive air strike on me while i sit there peacefully drinking my coffee.

+ 1 million.
 

SAvage410

Regular Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2009
Messages
187
Location
Falls Church, Virginia, USA
I wanted to make it to the meeting, but decided that self-preservation was more important. Yesterday was my fifth anniversary, and my wife (who can outshoot me) already had other plans for us.

I look forward to hearing a report from the meeting.

I went to the meeting last night. I heard a recording of the 911 call (name and phone of the caller redacted), and heard from the victim of the swatting. In brief, the victim had gone to a 7-11 in Baily's Cross-Roads, and had purchased a cup of coffee and a pack of cigarettes. He then got on his motorcycle and drove off. The caller, seeing his firearm, then placed a call to 911 and described an armed robbery.

Firstly, the caller was very inarticulate and seemingly confused when the dispatcher asked him for clarification. It was later made known to us that this particular caller has a history of such 911 calls. Why he remains free to continue remains unclear, but it was suggested that his (perceived limited) mental capacity may have something to do with it.

Secondly, the victim was very cool when four squad cars with 8 FFCPD pulled him over. He immediately signaled that he was pulling into a parking lot away from traffic, turned off his bike, and placed his hands on his helmet while police approached. Per his testimony, the police, while cautious, did NOT have weapons drawn as they approached him. He volunteered that he was armed, and the police carefully removed his sidearm and cleared it (as well as his pocket knife). After some questioning, ID checks and the like (and, one supposes, either a phone call or a physical visit to the 7-11 in question to verify the robbery report), the police returned his sidearm and pocket and allowed him to continue on his way.

Given what could have been a fatal event, things turned out quite well in the end (if one considers merely surviving a SWATting to be a good thing).
 

JamesCanby

Activist Member
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Jul 2, 2010
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Alexandria, VA at www.NoVA-MDSelfDefense.com
Based on the 911 recording, the dispatcher seemed to have his doubts about this caller, even to the point of trying to discover what bus he was on, perhaps to detain him for making the call. Thinking that they had to react, the dispatcher apparently dispatched an armed robbery call with the description, to which the police reacted, caught up with the citizen and cleared him.

Couldn't this whole incident have been prevented by making a quick call to the McDonalds in question and asking if there had been an armed robbery? Certainly the dispatcher must have had doubts because there was apparently no call from McDonalds or even a silent alarm initiated (assuming they have such a device installed).

Can't we find a way to inject some common sense into the Dispatch scenario? In this case we took four units and eight officers out of service to investigate an incident that had no foundation.

I hope they do know the caller -- they apparently have his name and cell phone number -- and that they bring him in for an investigatory interview.
 
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