Stiffer penalties for 'swatting' calls under federal bill

Posted: Updated:
Andrew Finch Andrew Finch
TOPEKA, Kan. (KAKE) -

In response to a deadly swatting incident last year, a Kansas congressman has introduced a federal bill that would allow for tougher penalties for making hoax emergency calls.

Congressman Ron Estes says the Preventing Swatting & Protecting Our Communities Act would impose strict penalties for swatting, including up up to 20 years in prison if someone in seriously hurt because of a swatting attack. The bill would also be known as the Andrew T. Finch Memorial Act.

Swatting victim's mother demands transparency

Law enforcement agencies review swatting procedures

Prosecutors allege Tyler Barriss was in Los Angeles when he called police on Dec. 28 with a fake story about a shooting and kidnapping at a home in Wichita. Police responded to the address, where an officer fatally shot 28-year-old Andrew Finch after Finch opened his door.

"The swatting incident here in Wichita and others across the country highlight the need for a federal law that addresses these crimes," said Rep. Estes. "That's why I'm introducing legislation to increase the severity of punishment for these criminals and deter others from participating in this dangerous activity."

Three Kansas lawmakers have also introduced House Bill 2581, which would make future "swatting" calls that result in death punishable by 10 to 40 years in prison.

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to news@kake.com.

MORE SLIDESHOWS HERE

  • Most Popular Stories

    • Police: Possible human remains found inside old coffin in Derby

      Police are investigating after construction crews found what appears to be a body inside an old coffin.   

    • Teen found guilty of killing Wichita man

      Jeremy Levy Jr., was found guilty in the June 17, 2017 shooting death of 25-year-old Erick Vasquez. The shooting happened in a strip mall parking lot near 13th and Bluff. 

    • Trooper's tweet after pulling over slow driver in left lane goes viral

      A trooper is praised after he stopped a driver who was going too slowly in the fast lane and backing up traffic.

    • Date set for Greyhound Park land auction

      Sedgwick County is looking for a buyer to the land it owns at the Wichita Greyhound Park.

    • Man critically hurt in east Wichita stabbing; suspect arrested

      Officers were called at around 7:10 a.m. Monday to a cutting at Orme and Lorraine, near Kellogg and Hillside.

    • Family pleads for missing Kansas veteran battling PTSD to come home

      Ashley Meiss recently turned 31 years old, but she didn't spend her birthday with her family and loved ones. May 19 was the last day anyone heard from the former military police officer living in Ogden.

    • An armed civilian intervened and fatally shot a suspect who police said had shot two people and was attempting an armed carjacking in a Walmart parking lot in Olympia, Washington, on Sunday.

    • Summer colds on the rise this season

      It's not the typical cold and flu season but that doesn't mean you can't catch a cold.  Doctors report a number of patients coming in with summer colds. 

    • Federal judge halts Kobach's voter law

      In a 118-page ruling a federal judge ordered a halt to the state's requirement that people provide proof of citizenship when registering to vote. It’s an issue that's divided Kansans for years. "I don't feel that it's necessary. I do think that they take enough proper steps in the process of registration to make sure that everything is legalized and to make sure that everything is up to count and up to steps,” Kansas voter, David Merz said. 

    • Grandmother kills bobcat with bare hands after it attacks her

      DeDe Phillips' first thought when a bobcat attacked in her driveway in Georgia was "I wasn't dying today."