FBI Los Angeles
Public Affairs Specialist Laura Eimiller
(310) 996-3343
May 9, 2014

Canadian Law Enforcement Officers Arrest Canadian Resident Suspected in Series of ‘Swatting’ Incidents Throughout North America

Canadian law enforcement officers arrested a suspect linked to multiple “swatting”-style attacks that victimized schools in North America and led to lockdowns or evacuations of impacted schools.

A male resident of Canada, whose name is not being released because he is a minor, was arrested by members of the Ottawa Police Service on Thursday, May 8, following an international investigation that involved multiple Canadian and American law enforcement partners.

The suspect has been linked to threats received by schools in multiple American cities that prompted responses by law enforcement in the following areas: Riverside, California; Stockton, California; Montgomery County, Maryland; Melbourne, Florida; Orlando, Florida; Greenwich, Connecticut; Tampa, Florida; and Watervliet, New York. The nature of the false threats received by the schools varied. In some cases, police were falsely warned of explosives, hostage-taking, and the threat of an active shooter.

Swatting is a term used to describe criminal activity by an individual (or group) who knowingly provides false information to police suggesting that a threat exists at a particular location so that police respond with tactical units. Making false threats drains law enforcement resources and can cause significant distress or physical injury to first responders or victims.

This international case is a continuing investigation by the following agencies in Canada and the United States: Ottawa Police Department; Halton Regional Police; Laval Police; Sûreté du Quebec; Calgary Police Service; Riverside Police Department (California); Stockton Police Department (California); Melbourne Police Department (Florida); Orlando Police Department (Florida); Greenwich Police Department (Connecticut); Montgomery County Police Department (Maryland); Watervliet Police Department; Tampa Police Department; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in multiple cities, including the FBI’s Legal Attaché in Ottawa, Canada.