LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Police Department Major Crimes Division has identified a teen from Medina, Ohio as a suspect in an investigation into multiple swatting incidents in L.A. in August 2020 and September 2021 that were organized on the chat platform Discord.
Police have been investigating swatting incidents that occurred at an L.A. residence on Aug. 12, 2020 and Sept. 29, 2021, linking the incidents to a group of suspects made up of three teens between the ages of 13 and 16.
During the most recent incident in September, Los Angeles police were called to a radio call of a possible suicide attempt at a home. Officers responded to the home by knocking on the front door and once on scene, learned that there was no issue at the home. Police later deemed it a swatting incident.
Swatting is when someone places a false emergency call for service, generally of a nature that causes a large police response.
One of the teens identified in connection to the incidents resides in Medina while another lives in Yonkers, New York. The third individual has been identified as a United States citizen currently living in the country of Cyprus.
Police said that Major Crimes Detectives coordinated with the FBI and local law enforcement in Medina and the locations of the other two suspects to identify the individuals involved and end their illegal actives.
The group is also believed to be involved in 30 other bomb threats and swatting incidents across the U.S. Their targets include other online persons, video gamers, activists, schools, airports, houses of worship, entertainment venues and memorial parks as far back as July 2020.
On Tuesday, local law enforcement served search and arrest warrants and additional witnesses were interviewed. Multiple electronic devices were seized for forensic analysis by the FBI and U.S. Secret Service.
Police said some of the language used in the swatting incidents reflected a "racial motivation theme."
The L.A. Major Crimes Division will present the case against all three teens to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office for filing consideration for criminal conspiracy and creating a false emergency, and authorities intend to request consideration for a hate crime enhancement to the charges as well.
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