The incident occurred on May 19. According to Dr. Alex Powers, his son was playing the online video game Fortnite with the boy when the two got into an argument.
“The person told my son he was going to ‘SWAT’ him 24 hours before the cops invaded my home,” Powers said in a Twitter post.
The term “swatting” refers to a police SWAT team. The act of swatting is a harassment technique most often perpetrated by members of the online gaming community.
Swatting entails generating an emergency law enforcement response against a target victim under false pretenses. Swatters do this by making phone calls to emergency lines like 911 and falsely reporting a violent emergency situation, such as a shooting or hostage situation.
“This is not a prank. This is a crime,” Powers said.
Powers said the police stormed his house around 11:30 p.m. He was then handcuffed in his living room as they searched his home for a potential threat.
“The officers that responded were in a terrible position and just doing their jobs. I had never had multiple guns trained on me and felt sure this was going to end awfully. It was a bad situation for everyone.”
“My 10-year-old was upstairs in bed. My oldest came to the door when he heard all the noise and had guns in his face. I walked around the corner to see multiple officers in my house with a variety of weapons all pointed at me,” Powers said.
“With assault rifles drawn, they searched my house. They woke up my my 10-year-old and made him come downstairs. What if he hid in his closet and they heard him? Thought he was the imaginary shooter? It could have been much worse.”
“Once they decided there was no active shooter, they took the handcuffs off, apologized for my front door being destroyed, and left my home.”
The investigation into the incident is ongoing, according to the Winston-Salem Police Department.
Powers said he is working with the FBI to track down the swatter and that Discord is cooperating with the agency.