News World ‘Serial swatter’: Man jailed for 20 years for hoax emergencies

‘Serial swatter’: Man jailed for 20 years for hoax emergencies

Tyler Barriss' case drew attention to the practice of 'swatting', where gamers get police to go to an online opponent's address. Photo: AAP
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A California man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for making bogus emergency calls to authorities across the US.

One of those calls led police to fatally shoot a Kansas man following a dispute between two online players over a small bet in the Call of Duty: WWII video game.

US District Judge Eric Melgren sentenced Tyler R Barriss, 26, under a deal in which he pleaded guilty in November to a total of 51 federal charges related to fake calls and threats.

The plea agreement called for a sentence of at least 20 years – well over the 10 years recommended under sentencing guidelines.

Barriss apologised to the Kansas man’s family on Friday, saying he takes full responsibility for what happened.

“If I could take it back, I would, but there is nothing I can do,” Barriss told the court.

“I am so sorry for that.”

Federico described Barriss as a loner who “found solace in the gaming community” as he became a “serial swatter”.

The FBI recognised swatting as an emerging threat as early as 2008, noting it had become commonplace among gamers.