COLUMBUS – State Representative Kevin Miller (R-Newark) today gave sponsor testimony on House Bill 462 in the Ohio House Criminal Justice Committee.
The purpose of House Bill 462 is to prohibit the offense of “Swatting.” Swatting refers to intentionally making a false 911 call to get police or SWAT officers to respond to a location or incident when there is no emergency.
“As you can imagine, these types of pranks are extremely dangerous, not just for affected residents and their neighbors, but for law enforcement officers racing to get to the scene and into buildings or residences for the reported emergencies,” said Miller.
Not only is swatting dangerous for the Officers responding and those at the scene but it is an egregious waste of the resources of our law enforcement as well as the tax payers money.
Ohio is not immune from these types of incidents. We have seen a growing trend in swatting occurrences, including two in a single month’s time over the past summer in Delaware County, and one in the City of Hamilton last May. Youngstown, Medina, and Belmont Counties have also been homes to swatting crimes in recent years.
This legislation would make swatting a third-degree felony, unless the violation results in serious physical harm to any person at which time it would rise to a first-degree felony.
House Bill 462 now awaits its second hearing in the Ohio House Criminal Justice Committee.