Naples family terrorized by swatting calls
NORTH NAPLES, Fla.- A local family has found themselves the target of a dangerous game that is wasting law enforcement resources.
The family on Westwood Drive says their teen made a mistake online, making someone mad and whoever is behind the keyboard has been targeting their son ever since.
Thursday, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a blocked number.
The man on the other end claimed to live at a home on Westwood Drive in Naples. He told the operator he had shot his girlfriend and tied up his two daughters.
The caller, phoned the wrong sheriff’s office and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office had to relay the call to Collier County.
“He says he shot his girlfriend, killed her with a 12-gauge shot gun and the two daughters are tied up in the bathroom.”
Collier County deputies swarmed the North Naples home and a frightened family walked outside to meet them. The caller phoned in a fake crime; it’s called swatting.
“Yeah, we were swatted last night or something,” said Sean Hanley, whose family lives at the home targeted. “It’s happened like three or four times already. It’s ridiculous.”
Hanley’s little brother is the target.
“I guess he made some kid mad online and he fired back,” said Hanley. “It hasn’t really stopped.”
The family believes the harasser is someone their son met through an online game called “Garry’s Mod.”
They believe the person behind it lives out of state. The problems online have trickled into the teen’s real life. They have targeted him for the past year including at school.
“Someone called the school and said he had a bomb or something,” said Hanley. “Some kids have been saying stuff like that is the kid that tried to blow up the school.”
In addition to the online and school harassment, the family has also received pizzas at their home they didn’t order.
“It hasn’t affected me like my mom, she has to deal with all this stuff. She would barely sleep last night,” said Hanley. “Try and imagine if someone did that to you, they should treat people the way they want to be treated. They are wasting deputies’ time.”
The family has provided the Collier County Sheriff’s Office a person of interest but so far, no arrests have been made.