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Bill that would make 'swatting' a felony in Kentucky becomes law

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Posted at 9:24 PM, Apr 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-12 22:32:10-04

Kentucky's Governor Andy Beshear has officially signed a bill to toughen punishment for "swatting" in Kentucky.

Last year a story broke in Kentucky highlighting one couple's experience. Someone called in a fake report of violence at their home, drawing armed police straight to their door.

Lawmakers decided to do something this session in Kentucky, making it a crime punishable by jail time.

Governor Beshear signed their bill into law on Friday.

As CNN reported, "swatting" is a dangerous style of prank that has even affected some high profile celebrities like Justin Beiber, Kim Kardashian and Ashton Kutcher.

In December of 2017, 28-year-old Andrew Finch was killed by police in Kansas at his home when after a swatting prank, according to a police affidavit reported on by CNN.

As the New York Times reported, in April of 2020 a Tennessee man named Mark Herring was at his home at night when after someone called the police using a British accent and claiming to have shot a woman at Herring's address. Police soon after swarmed his home in the town of Bethpage.

Police drew their guns when they arrived to the home and told the 60-year-old computer programmer with six grandchildren to exit the home. As Herring was exiting the home he suffered a heart attack that he ultimately died from.

A 20-year-old was sentenced to 5 years in prison in connection to the prank call, the Times reported.

This story was originally published by WLEX in Lexington, Kentucky.