US man arrested after prank call turns fatal

Picture for representation

Los Angeles, Dec 31 (IANS) A man from California was arrested in connection with a prank call to police that led to another man’s death in Kansas state, the media reported.

The incident is the latest example of swatting, in which a person makes a false report to draw large numbers of law enforcement or SWAT teams to a place or multiple locations, CNN reported late Saturday.

Wichita Police responded to such a call of a hostage situation on Thursday when they shot a man in his home. Family members identified the victim as 28-year-old Andrew Thomas Finch.

Tyler Barriss was arrested in Los Angeles on Friday after the Wichita Police Department issued a fugitive warrant, Los Angeles Officer Mike Lopez said.

Barriss, 25, might appear in court on January 2.

Barriss’ digital footprint suggests he was familiar with swatting.

One of his Twitter handles was @SWAuTistic. The Twitter account has been suspended but a cached copy of the profile was found that had multiple references to swatting.

In a December 22 tweet, he said he was “thinking about swatting” the FBI headquarters, two people who knew Barriss through the gaming and online told CNN.

“I was in shock so I messaged him asking him why he’d do that,” the friend said of the Wichita incident.

“He said it was stupid and he shouldn’t have done it, but I didn’t care. He’s a grown man who’s done this stuff before.”

Barriss “was known in the gaming community for doing stuff like that” the second friend told CNN.

Barriss was arrested in 2015 for calling in fake bomb threats to the Los Angeles-based KABC local TV station. He received a two-year sentence.