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Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf, the 16-year-old Fortnite player who just became the newest World Cup solo champion, had his home “swatted” on Saturday as he live-streamed a session alongside pro players Ghost Bizzle and FaZe Dubs, Kotaku reports.
“Swatting” is a criminal harassment tactic of deceiving the police into sending an armed response team to another person’s address, sometimes by fooling emergency services.
Streaming live on Twitch, Bugha caught footage of when the police arrived. At one point, his father interrupts his Fortnite session, telling him there are armed police officers at the door. Bugha leaves for around 10 minutes. When he arrives back online, he says, “They come in with guns, bro. They literally pulled up, holy shit.”
Some swattings have proven fatal. In 2017, a minor dispute over a Call of Duty game turned into a swatting in Wichita, Kansas, where police fatally shot 28-year-old Andrew Finch. In March, the caller, 25-year-old Tyler Barriss of Los Angeles, was sentenced to serve between 20 and 25 years in prison for the act.
Fortunately, one of the officers who arrived at Bugha’s house lived in the area and recognized the video game prodigy, averting any potential disaster.
Bugha kept his Twitter commentary on the incident brief on Saturday night:
kinda wild— SEN Bugha (@bugha) August 11, 2019
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Kahron Spearman is a music and film critic whose work can also regularly be regularly found in the Austin Chronicle.