Ohio House passes bill to stiffen swatting penalties
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The Ohio House of Representative passed a bill on Wednesday that aims to stiffen the penalties for swatting.
According to the Ohio House, “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. The purpose of House Bill 462 is to prohibit the offense of swatting.
“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 State Representative Kevin Miller (R).
The Ohio House says not only is swatting dangerous for the Officer responding and those at the scene but it is also a waste of the resources of law enforcement as well as the tax payers money.
On Nov. 16, swatting incidents occurred at multiple school around Ohio including:
- Start High School in Toledo
- Liberty-Benton in Findlay
- Lima Temple Christian School in Lima
- Withrow High School in Cincinnati
- Dater High School in Cincinnati
- Western Hills High School in Cincinnati
- Franklin Heights High School in Columbus
The legislation would make swatting a third-degree felony, unless the violation results in serious physical harm to any person. In that instance, it would rise to a second-degree felony.
H.B. 462 now awaits its second hearing in the Ohio House Criminal Justice Committee.
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