Dozens of police, SWAT respond to "Swatting" hoax in Southwest Portland – KATU
PORTLAND, Ore. — Robert Reubendall was up reading, early Saturday night, around midnight, when of all things, someone’s coughing outside caught his attention. He peaked threw the window.
My car was right here,” Reubendall pointed. I couldn’t see it. It was dark (and) you could just see figures moving.
He went outside and when one of those moving figures got up, he got a glimpse of a Portland Police Bureau emblem.
“One stopped and said we had a situation here. We’re using your car as protection or whatever,” Reubendall continued.
The officers had their eyes on Kyle Hart’s house, which was just a few homes down the street on the 11200 block of SW Capitol Avenue.
Driving back home from a friends, Hart says he noticed police cars coming from virtually every direction. Once he got home, he went downstairs to quiet his roommate’s dog, Henry, who, for some reason, would not stop barking. When he came back up, a friend staying with him, pointed to a couple missed calls from a strange number on his cell phone.
“And I listen to the voicemail and he says, ‘Hey this is, I believe, Officer Harvey, of the police department. Like, where are you? Are you in the house and are you at gunpoint,?'” Hart recounted.
“So, I walk over there and there is about 5-6 policeman all dressed in full armor and one had a battering ram. I see my terrified roommate and they kind of explain the situation like, what’s going on,” Hart added.
It was a hoax.
Grace Lynn, 35, says she was the intended target of the so-called “Swatting” plot, which is when someone spoofs a 911 call, in this case, claiming to be held hostage. It is typically done in some form of payback in the gaming world.
Lynn, a transgender woman, lived in the targeted home about a year ago before moving to the Bay Area. She speaks out publicly against people who harass women in the gaming industry. She says this, paired with her transgender identity, is why she was targeted.
“So, I’ll look myself up on various places where people harass me just to see if they’re going to do anything more transgressive and in this case they did,” lynn told KATU News via FaceTime.
She found real-time posts of users plotting the “Swatting” hoax.
“Because they linked to police scanner, I was able to reference that it was my old address in Portland,” Lynn explained.
In the posts, the users continue to brag about the “swatting” even after realizing Lynn no longer lived there.
The 35-year-old says she wanted to speak out, show her face, and tell the people behind the prank; hiding behind the veil of online forums, who they really hurt.
“Yeah, (I) really hope whoever did this gets caught,” Hart said.