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.