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“Swatting” could soon lead to stiffer penalties in Colorado under false reporting measure

By: Jesse Paul, The Denver Post
January 29, 2018 Updated: January 29, 2018 at 9:38 pm
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Wichita police investigate a call of a possible hostage situation near the corner of McCormick and Seneca in Wichita, Ks Thursday night 12/28. A man was fatally shot by a police officer in what is believed to be a gaming prank called "swatting." (Fernando Salazar /The Wichita Eagle via AP)

Legislation that would increase penalties for people who falsely report a crime as part of so-called “swatting” pranks advanced out of a state Senate committee on a unanimous vote Monday.

Senate Bill 68 would make false reporting that involves an imminent threat by use of a deadly weapon a Class 1 misdemeanor, instead of a Class 2 or Class 3 misdemeanor. That could mean jail terms of up to 18 months instead of a maximum of a year or six months, respectively.

The measure is meant to specifically address situations where people make false reports to authorities to elicit a massive police response, specifically that of a SWAT team, as a joke or prank.

Those incidents are known as “swatting,” and they started among video-gamers several years ago. Last month, swatting was even blamed for the death of a Kansas man killed by an officer.

Read full story at The Denver Post.

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