SURPRISE, Ariz. — Detectives from the Surprise Police Department have arrested a 17-year-old male resident of Surprise for perpetrating a hoax of terrorist threats, also known as swatting. The arrest concludes a lengthy investigation which also involved federal and California law enforcement officials. The identity of the teen has not been released.
According to Arizona law, swatting is the act of “maliciously and intentionally falsely reporting an act to an emergency service such that an emergency response is likely to be dispatched — such as a SWAT team, bomb squad, or other law enforcement units or medical personnel (Fire, EMS, etc.).” Reported incidents of swatting typically involve an emergency request to a residence, school or business for critical police intervention.
Through the joint efforts of the U.S. Secret Service, the Monterrey County Sheriff’s Office and the Surprise Police Department, authorities served the teen a search warrant at his place of residence. Evidence obtained from the scene included routers, computers and cell phones.
Upon being taken into custody, the 17-year-old was interviewed by the three investigating parties involved, providing a full confession to law enforcement officials. The teen has since been released into the custody of his parents.
Investigators will now conduct a complete forensic analysis of the electronic devices seized and pursue criminal charges through the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.
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