Prank sends police into gamer's house

Bradenton, Florida -- "Swatting" is the practice of making a false call to police using technology that makes it seem like the call is coming from that address.

It happened to Bradenton Police around 6:45 a.m. Sunday.

Mike Dolen began the day moderating a friendly, online game of Minecraft. As players watched and waited on a livestream as Dolen tried to fix some server problems, police broke down his door.

"Oh, my God!" Dolen is heard screaming as police into his home.

"I try to remain calm," says Dolen. But his faced showed his true feelings. "I was terrified, scared to death."

Police say it appears a child called 911 from Dolen's address.

"[We were told] that the father had killed the mother [and] she was concerned, hiding in the house," says Capt. William Fowler.

See Also: Possible prank on gamer leads to school lock-in

Dolen says more than a dozen police officers showed up with guns drawn. Police say the situation did not call for a standoff; officers needed to rush in as Dolen's wife and three daughters slept.

Fowler says, "The circumstances indicated we get in there, get in there quick, try to save a life."

Dolen threw his hands up and after answering some questions, then said, "I'm live streaming, I'm live streaming."

And just as he is getting handcuffed, Dolen says, "A younger officer says, 'You are a live streamer. He is getting swatted!' The officers realized this was a prank, a hoax."

Dolen believes the prankster is an angry player he had to remove from the game twice that morning. "This person came in cursing at the children, being rude, malicious."

Dolen says the player typed in Dolen's home address in the chatroom and made a threat to "let this person out or else."

About a half hour later, police arrived.

Dolen says, "This individual knows what they were doing. They wanted to see me die, wanted to see me get shot."

Swatting may be a hoax for the prankster, but for Dolen and his family, it's impacting their everyday life.

Dolen says, "Every moment since then, there's no sleep, no peace in this house. The children are terrified. My wife can't sleep. We're getting attacked on the Internet, it goes down constantly. I can't do my job, she can't do her job. The financial struggle is real."

Dolen has taken steps to protect his identity, and his family is looking for a new home.

As for the gaming, Dolen says he will continue being a live streamer and moderate online games. He is confident police will find the person responsible. He says, "They need to go to jail. They need to get help."


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