Friday, March 28, 2008

Randal T. Ellis got off TOO EASY

This fool, Randal T. Ellis, could have and was aiming for someone to get hurt. There is absolutely nothing harmless about this prank. Randal T. Ellis is an idiot - AThinker.

From the Associated Press:

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A computer hacker was sentenced to three years in prison for placing a phony 911 call that led a SWAT team to storm a family home at gunpoint.

It marked the first prosecution in Orange County for a prank known as "swatting" that involves sending SWAT teams on wild goose chases, said county district attorney's spokeswoman Farrah Emami on Thursday.

Randal T. Ellis, 19, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Orange County Superior Court to five felony counts, including computer access and fraud, false imprisonment by violence and falsely reporting a crime.

He was given prison time and ordered to pay $14,765 in restitution, most of which will go to the county Sheriff's Department.

A call to Ellis's attorney, Ronald Brower, was not immediately returned Thursday.

Ellis, of Mukilteo, Wash., placed a 911 call last March, at first claiming to report a drug overdose and then alleging a possible murder, investigators said.

From the OC Register:

LAKE FOREST – It was nearly a year ago that Doug Bates heard rustling outside his home and, thinking it was a burglar, grabbed a knife from the kitchen and walked into his back yard to protect his family.

His two toddlers were asleep inside his home and his wife started dialing 911.

What Bates, 37, didn't know was that a team of heavily armed deputies from the Orange County Sheriff Department's Critical Incident Response team were surrounding his home. Thinking they were responding to a call that escalated from a drug overdose to a murder, deputies responded to the quiet neighborhood expecting the worst.

What nobody here knew on the night of March 29, at least not yet, was that they were all pawns in a false 911 report that was made more than a thousand miles away by a 19-year-old Washington man who had placed hundreds of similar false calls across the country.

With knife in hand at about 11:30 p.m., Bates walked out into the direction of gun barrels pointed in his direction.

Deputies ordered him to the ground. Bates dropped the knife and in seconds he was in handcuffs. His wife was also placed in cuffs minutes later.

"I was so immediately wanting to protect my family, I took it upon myself," Bates said. "I thought they were going after the wrong guy."

In an Orange County courtroom Wednesday, Randal T. Ellis, of Mukilteo, Wash., pleaded guilty to charges of computer access fraud, false imprisonment by violence, falsely reporting a crime and assault with a firearm. The 19-year-old man was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay $14,765 in restitution to the Sheriff's Department and the city of Mulkiteo.

Authorities believe it was one of nearly 200 false calls Ellis made.

It took this week's sentencing to finally bring peace of mind to his family, Bates said.

Over the past year, investigators and the District Attorney's Office have repeatedly assured him that he and his family were random victims and were not specifically targeted by Ellis. But the thought that someone could manipulate the system and place his family in such danger put his family on edge, Bates said.

"The chances of something like that happening at random, I'd rather win the lottery," he said.

The conviction has set his mind at ease with the knowledge that those that manipulate the system will be punished.

From the L.A. Times:

Ellis was arrested last year after hacking into a telephone network and impersonating a caller from a Lake Forest home, saying that he had killed someone in the house and was threatening to shoot others. The technique in which a prank call is made to 911 dispatchers is known among hackers as "SWATting."

The Sheriff's Department dispatched a SWAT team and surrounded the home with dozens of officers, dogs and a helicopter.

As the children of Stacey Cerwin-Bates and Doug Bates slept, Doug Bates thought he heard a prowler outside and grabbed a kitchen knife.

When he entered the backyard, deputies armed with assault rifles confronted Bates and handcuffed him and his wife until officers were able to determine that the report was fake.

Authorities spent more than six months tracking down Ellis.

Thank goodness this did not turn out with a death. Are people really that bored and silly that they put other people's life at risk for a laugh? - A Thinker


Anonymous said...

yes. probably for teh lulz