26-year-old sentenced to two years in prison after swatting incident
Made fake calls to 911 causing emergency response
1:53 PM, Jan 18, 2018
1:54 PM, Jan 18, 2018
(WMAR) - A 26-year-old from Catonsville was sentenced to two years in prison after giving police fake information about a hostage situation and causing a man to get shot with rubber bullets as a result.
Zachary Lee was sentenced on Tuesday for swatting, which is making a fake call to 911 that causes an emergency response.
According to Lee's plea agreement, Lee and co-conspirator Robert Walker-McDaid planned to give police fake information about a hostage situation.
On February 17, 2015, Lee messaged McDaid saying that he needed someone swatted. On February 18, 2015, a call from McDaid's internet phone was made to a terrorism hotline. Lee, McDaid, and another person were on the call saying that there was a man with a loaded gun, several bags of plastic explosives and three hostages. The caller then told the hotline that they demanded $15,000 in cash to be sent to an address that was not theirs. The caller also said that if they do not meet their demands they will start killing the hostages in 15 minutes.
Shortly after police arrived at the victim's home, Lee posted on Facebook, "Love my team".
When the call was made, Howard County officials did not know the call was fake. They responded to the provided address and shot a man with rubber bullets in the face and chest. The victim in return had bruised lungs, a fractured rib, and numerous broken bones to the side of his face. He was taken to the hospital and had to undergo several facial reconstruction surgeries.
This incident caused over 40 officers to respond to the victims home for two and a half hours. Overall, it cost the department over $10,000.
McDaid has been arrested in his home country of the United Kingdom and has a hearing scheduled on March 27, 2018.