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British man facing up to 20 years behind bars in 'swatting' incident

By Shawn Knight ยท 39 replies
Apr 11, 2017
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  1. A British man is facing multiple charges stemming from a 2015 “swatting” incident that resulted in a 20-year-old gamer being shot with rubber bullets by police.

    According to a report from The Independent, Robert McDaid, 21, from Coventry, England, allegedly called a terrorism hotline posing as US resident Tyran Dobbs from the Washington, D.C. area. McDaid, who said he had a gun and explosives, reportedly said he would kill three hostages unless he received $15,000 in cash.

    Police took the threat seriously, raided the real Dobbs’ residence and reportedly shot him in the face and chest with rubber bullets. The publication says the bullets broke bones in Dobbs’ face and bruised his lungs.

    The call was ultimately traced back to McDaid who was charged with three offenses including conspiracy to produce false information. If convicted, McDaid faces a maximum sentence of 20 years behind bars.

    McDaid claims he was asked to swat Dobbs by another American gamer, Zachary Lee, who has also been charged with the same offenses.

    In addition to the potential harm that can result as evident by this story, making false threats puts an unnecessary strain on law enforcement resources.

    Maryland prosecutor Rod Rosenstein said they are working with officials in the UK to ensure that Robert McDaid is held accountable for his alleged actions because the alleged criminal activity represents a grave threat to public safety.

    Permalink to story.

  2. veLa

    veLa TS Evangelist Posts: 854   +301

    davislane1 likes this.
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,385   +3,775

    When we were kids we pulled all sorts of stupid and insanely funny pranks but now days, with the often justifiable over reaction of law enforcement, we need to spend a lot more time teaching our kids the right and wrong as well as just how serious the consequences can be. At 21, that young man has absolutely NO excuse for his actions, but 20 years is a bit stiff. What might be better is for the Judge to obligate the young man to become a police officer and spend his career explaining these dangers to all the young people he can be put before. Enlisting a person to spread the word is a lot more effective than sticking him in a cell and letting him stew as well as become a hardened criminal; better to rehabilitate him by making him face his crime and work towards helping other avoid the same stupid move!
  4. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,463   +633

    A year in jail and 2 years community service seems reasonable since nobody died.

    20 years does seems bit much even when trying to set an example.
  5. If anybody on this forum waltzes up to someone and blasts them in the face with a shotgun (non-lethal, like these cops), they'd be getting 20 years. Please explain how using a 3rd party to pull the trigger justifies a lesser penalty.
  6. veLa

    veLa TS Evangelist Posts: 854   +301

    20 years might be a little on the tough side, but I definitely think 2 years is too minor. Somebody got shot over this, even if it was only rubber bullets.
  7. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,382   +5,010

    Look how easy it is to have someone assassinated. They don't even have to pose a threat, just make the authorities think they do. It is not the person who lied that got them shot. It was the incompetence of the SWAT team that failed to assess the situation. Charge the guilty for the stupid prank, but they are not guilty of pulling the trigger. SWAT is the one that is guilty of pulling the trigger.
    ForgottenLegion likes this.
  8. ForgottenLegion

    ForgottenLegion TS Guru Posts: 411   +414

    Maybe the cops should do a little detective work for once.
    If all it takes for them to go in guns blazing is one anonymous overseas phone call then something is seriously wrong.
    Plus pleas from his family members were ignored and they went into the sleeping man's room and shot him.

    I'm not saying this guy shouldn't be punished but the police need to share the blame here and seriously need to revise their protocols for dealing with these scenarios.
    poohbear, Godel and cliffordcooley like this.
  9. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,050   +1,384

    In the time it takes to validate the authenticity of a phone call, people can DIE. its worth the few ***** swatters to save even ONE life in the case of a real scenario.
    Daithi likes this.
  10. Re: swatting the police are in no man's land. They hesitate to respond to a hostage situation (which is no longer uncommon in the West), people die because they had to "verify" and the cops get blamed for not responding fast enough. They respond expediently to a hostage call, go in guns blazing, and get blamed for not waiting long enough.

    The easiest solution to this is to have prohibitively costly penalties for hoaxing LE. Any time something goes wrong with cops people say, "we need better protocols." Each time those enhancements are made they slow responders because it turns out lawyers are more powerful than the gun to your head.

    Prime example: Paris 2015. Cops meandered about and their delay got people killed, because "protocol."
    Makson likes this.
  11. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,696   +427

    "McDaid claims he was asked to swat Dobbs by another American gamer, Zachary Lee, who has also been charged with the same offenses."

    Seriously? So the guy that asked someone to do something stupid gets charged and will also face a possible 20 year prison sentence?

    So, like, if I ask someone to jump off a cliff and they do it I am responsible for their stupidity and lack of sense in decision making???? Really?
  12. Emexrulsier

    Emexrulsier TS Evangelist Posts: 602   +81

    So the swat team get off scot free, even though they bust into someones place, shot up using excessive force purely off the whim of a single phone call...
  13. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    I've heard of some people getting up to 25 years just for dipping their sticky fingers into a convenience store cash register, as recently as in the 80's. If that's not a little harsh then I don't know what is.
    By the same token I've also heard some serial killers, rapist and paedophiles get less than 10 years. Justice isn't always fair because it has a colour and involves some art, and that colour is green, usually embellished with artwork of dead presidents faces.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
    Godel likes this.
  14. ForgottenLegion

    ForgottenLegion TS Guru Posts: 411   +414

    I see this as a prime example of excessive force.
    The swat team are supposed to assess the situation and use appropriate action. I'm not sure how shooting a sleeping man is defendable but I suppose that's your case.

    If no detective work is necessary I guess you could call swat Public Service Assassins.
    Godel likes this.
  15. andy06shake

    andy06shake TS Evangelist Posts: 491   +161

    Have to say having performed many a prank as a child and young man myself the sentence possibly imposed seems rather extreme, then again I never got anyone shot.

    Truth is through if the guy responsible broke into the other dudes home and raped him he would probobly only receive half the gaol time, and that in itself should tell us something is very, very wrong with the sentences imposed.

    Do the police officers involved get time in gaol for not checking there facts and/or information, then managing to injure a member of the public? Nope! :(
    cliffordcooley and Tanstar like this.
  16. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,399   +627

    That seems reasonable but what if you asked someone to kill someone and they did it? Could you claim no responsibility then too? Well, you could try.
  17. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,766   +1,160

    You forgot, using a 3rd party, spending special forces resources (As in time and money), and putting them at risk for stupid stuff, AND, the possibility that those resources could've been more needed in a real EMERGENCY situation.
    davislane1 likes this.
  18. andy06shake

    andy06shake TS Evangelist Posts: 491   +161

    Special forces and risk are pretty much part and parcel of the package, it's not like our own gooberment dont place these people at risk on a daily basis. What the guy does is serious and down right wrong but its not worth 20 years in a federal prison.
  19. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,766   +1,160

    Yeah the risk for a highly trained team of specialized units for a prank call, it's super justified.

    What I find most baffling, is that people don't understand when there is a trial pending with years or months or weeks in prison, that is the MAXIMUM that could get, as in UP TO, not that they will get that. Unless they have an awful defense of course. But for those pranksters, please do give them 20 years to set the example for stupidity.
    Godel and cliffordcooley like this.
  20. Tanstar

    Tanstar TS Evangelist Posts: 658   +202

    That's the max sentence. He hasn't been convicted yet. Judge will set the jail time based on the facts of the case if he is convicted.
  21. He had a gun shoved in someone's face and the trigger pulled.

    Soulburn74 and Kibaruk like this.
  22. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,766   +1,160

    And we haven't even considered the lawsuit they must have gotten from the affected party, hospital costs, psychological help (Because, who wouldn't be ok surrounded by a Swat team and with a shotgun to the face)... ducking ducktards that try to justify feces like this makes me mad...
    Soulburn74 likes this.
  23. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,382   +5,010

    What makes me mad is when innocent people get hurt by the authorities because they fail to case out the place properly. People who are supposed to protect, what a failure in the job description. But yet all you can think about is penalizing the prankster. Sure the prankster deserve a harsh sentence. I'm not even arguing the 20 years being too high. I want to know what measures our protectors are going to use to prevent SWAT from shooting up innocent civilians again. Because you see next time it could be you or I.
    Kibaruk and wiyosaya like this.
  24. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,972   +2,276

    I would not say "often justifiable". Have you heard about the Buddhist monks that accidentally overstayed their visa and were arrested by cops in full swat gear? There's an interesting article on overuse of swat teams at - http://www.offthegridnews.com/current-events/swat-teams-used-to-enforce-environmental-laws/

    Absolutely. Protocol - whether we like it or not - is in place to prevent mistakes from happening. There is going to be a trade off. Take the time to investigate whether the use of force is justified or reckless. Any SWAT team shooting someone innocent for any reason with any type of weapon is inexcusable, IMO. Personally, if I had someone holding a gun to my head, I would want the cops to investigate and act appropriately before using force so that my chances for survival are the best possible. As I see it, rushing into any circumstance with guns blazing - in other words - shoot first, ask questions later - is not justifiable in real life. In fact, the article I referenced above gives plenty of examples where even the use of a SWAT team is highly debatable.

    And here are a couple more articles
    Note that the sources of the articles cross political boundaries.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  25. Broken facial bones....ouch!
    as far as the tactics go, everyone knows that speed, surprise and violence of action carry the day whether it's blitzkrieg (nation level) down to an individual.

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