19-year-old Middleton man charged in ‘swatting’ incident in Hartland

HARTLAND — Charges have been filed in connection to a swatting incident that put Hartland schools on lockdown and emergency responders on high alert.

The incident happened on Tuesday, April 9. Police received a dispatch call about a life-threatening, critical incident. Once at the scene on Ridgeway Place, the┬áreport of shots fired inside a home, and people’s lives on the line turned out to be false.

Police classified it as a “swatting-type incident.”

Swatting, a term coined by the video gaming community, has become a well-known prank when digital competitors call the police on their competitors. They’ll claim knowledge of a hostage situation, and officers need to respond fast.

On June 27, Hartland police — with assistance from the Middleton Police Department and Dane County Sheriff’s Office — executed a search warrant on Pheasant Lane in Middleton.

Police say a 19-year-old Middleton man was arrested for his involvement in the incident. He’s facing the following charges:

  • Terrorist threats
  • Party to a crime for first-degree recklessly endangering safety
  • Unlawful use of computerized communication systems
  • Obstructing an officer
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