A bad joke can cost you a lot, especially when it puts people's lives in danger. This is what happened to Tyler Raj Barriss, a well-known Internet figure who organized a swatting that ended in tragedy. More than a year later, he has just been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Back in December 2017, this young American decided to call the police to report an innocent person for a serious crime only to have the SWAT team arrive - a practice known as swatting.
What is swatting?
According to Cloudflare, the practice of swatting 'refers to a harassment technique most often perpetrated by members of the online gaming community. Swatting entails generating an emergency law enforcementresponse against a target victim under false pretences'.
In some countries, this illegal act carries some very serious consequences. In some less serious cases, the responsible party may be obligated to pay in full the costs of the responders, sometimes totalling up to $10,000.
A joke gone wrong
Only, this 'joke' ended in tragedy after the police open fired on 28-year-old Andrew Thomas Finch. The police were called about a dangerous hostage where the suspect was believed to be armed. More seriously, the victim wasn't even the person Barriss had actually reported, since the address given by the guy was wrong.
This wasn't even Tyler Raj Barriss's first try, but he has just been caught and because of his prank, he will now be stuck in a prison cell for a number of years.
Check the video for the full story, and see the outcome of this young (and admittedly not very wise) man's actions!