Swatter Will Spend One Year In Jail

Swatter Will Spend One Year In Jail

Matthew Tollis, a 22 year-old from Wethersfield, Connecticut, is facing a year in jail for his role in a series of Swatting calls made last year.

As FoxCT reports, Tollis was sentenced last week for his part in the calls, in which he acted as a kind of local agent for a team of British hackers, obtaining things like phone numbers and “other information” on American schools (and the Boston Convention Exhibition Center) so they could make the actual calls.

In total, Tollis was found to have participated in six Swatting calls, including one made to the University of Connecticut last year that resulted in the entire campus being shut down. A Federal Judge has ordered Tollis to “report to prison on November 5 to serve for one year and one day”.

“Swatting is not a schoolboy prank, it’s a federal crime,” U.S. Attorney Dierdre Daly told Fox. “These hoaxes have expended critical law enforcement resources and caused severe emotional distress for thousands of victims.”

(via crimsonheadGCN @ NeoGAF)


    • Let’s not advocate murder, here. He’s a menace to society, so he should be removed from it for our protection. Murder is a different thing altogether.

  • Hope he cops it in the pooper, aint nothin like the fear of anal rape to scare a bloke onto the straight and narrow

    • Just like the murder guy above, let’s not advocate rape, either.

      This guy is a piece of shit, but a society that says it’s ok to rape or kill someone as punishment isn’t any better than the criminal.

  • Personally I don’t think Jail is a suitable punishment, I think community service, monitoring and a lack of internet for a long period of time might be better punishments for this.

    I do applaud the judge for setting a precedent. And I admit I’m glad one of these faceless internet thugs got caught and punished, although I think some of you want the punishment to be far worse than the crime.

    • I’m ok with this punishment. Why? Because of the inherent dangers that come with swatting. There’s potential for death unfortunately with it. All it takes is for one bullet to be fired in confusion and someone will die. That’s not an absurd line of reasoning, it’s factual, even a trained police officer or SWAT officer may do this if the person were to move quickly, not that they may die, but they may even end up maimed or disabled. Add to this the potential for someone to be hurt and unable to be assisted due to this occurring potentially, and this ‘swatting’ issue grows much larger than just them doing it for shits and giggles. One year and one day is fine, it should be no more. I’d honestly be appalled if it was. Hell, I’d be happy for six months, but there needs to be a *real* consequence for this, not community service or lack of the net, which is tantamount to a slap on the wrist, there needs to be a very real, inescapable consequence.

      • You’d LIKE there to be a consequence because your prejudice is saying that what you LIKE is the same as what WORKS. It’s not. I’m with you, would totally LOVE people like this to fear it, I would totally love for people to feel like there’s a consequence but research shows that jail time actually ISN’T a meaningful deterrent. You can’t escape the fact, it just isn’t. Jail time is a short term solution that could maybe quell a small problem but it’s not a small problem anymore, it’s becoming engrained in the culture and when that happens, you need to change your tactics.

        Sure, someone could die, it’s totally dangerous, which is why we need to look for solutions instead of what makes us feel better. Lol, community service probably wouldn’t do much more but recognise it’s your prejudice that pretends community service isn’t as effective just because you see it as less harsh from your position. The guy in question is irrelevant, he did it like six times, it’s now for the safety of others that he’s in jail. It’s VERY different to an emotionally unstable kid who has their life ahead of them. Does nothing for anyone to wilfully dismiss and ignore causes social and cultural in favour of personal gratification.

        • You don’t have a right to tell me it’s my prejudices or ignorances or whatnot, that’s arrogant and misinformed. I’ve had friends murdered and I’ve had friends thrown in jail in my lifetime, I’m not the only one in the world who’s had that happened, it sucks, it’s horrible but it’s happened. I’ve seen both sides of the story. I’ve seen the system fail and I’ve seen it work. To automatically assume the system fails *every* time is as arrogant as to believe it works *every* time. The system works if one wants to redeem themselves no doubt but a person will reoffend if they want to reoffend, but if someone knows there’s a heavy penalty for a stupid crime, they’ll be more likely to rethink than if there were no punishment. As far as ‘looking for solutions’, until you can think of something amazing that solves all the worlds woes

          Throw the pricks in jail if they want to put someone elses life at risk over something as meaningless and stupid as a videogame. If they hold someone elses life in such disregard as that, then they don’t deserve such sympathy. Sorry dude I don’t believe in wrist slapping when it comes to peoples safety.

      • Although I didn’t explain it I was suggesting a 10 year ban from the internet, Consoles, Computers and Smart Phones with his simple phone being monitored. As well as enough Community Service to pay off the debt his SWATing caused.

        I rarely think Prison is place for non violent offenders. I also know I’m in the minority with my way of thinking and that this is probably not the best place to enter into that discussion.

        A low security labour camp where non violent criminals work off their debt and serve a sentence I’m actually fine with.

        I’m also highly against for profit prisons, just look how well privatisation of the power grid worked. The Government is getting solicited by the people who now own it so they can set what ever prices they like.

        • I’m perfectly ok with that. I don’t think this requires maximum security prison but I do think some sort of detainment is required to show it’s not acceptable. One of what you suggested would be perfect, plus a sentence removing him from the internet for a period of time.

    • If it had just been a one off thing then maybe I’d agree that there’s room for leniency on the basis that it was just a stupid mistake. But doing it six times? Nope, off to jail with you.

      • This. If its was just a one off, dumbass joke, then yeah I’d agree that its a bit harsh. Six confirmed swattings though… that deserves jailtime

    • I think you dramatically misunderstand the severity of the crime.

      He sent armed men, ready to KILL, to peoples’ homes.

      • I thought he was referring to those above who said he should be raped/murdered which are perhaps what @dknight1000 considers worse than the swatting.

        • @transientmind Yes I was referring to people who want him raped or murdered. The New Jack City style execution somebody suggested specifically.

          I think Prison should be used for people who can not be around the rest of us without causing harm, while he did cause harm by supplying phone numbers so people could be SWATed, I don’t think he is actually a danger to anybody especially if his information gathering services where taken away from him.

          If somebody died in these SWATs I’m actually for bumping the charge up to accessory to Manslaughter, but I think part of his punishment should be to pay off the cost of these operations.

  • Is it just me or is that a weird sentence? 1 year and 1 day. What’s the extra day on the end for? Is that because it’s going to be a leap year or something?

    • Mandatory minimums. Anything one year or less is a misdemeanour. One year and one day is the minimum for the lowest class of felony, which is what this crime was classed as.

      Ironically, it probably means he will spend less time in jail. For sentences in excess of one year a prisoner can receive reduced sentences for good behaviour – up to 54 days for each year served. He’ll probably be released about about 10.5 months. If he received a one year sentence for a misdemeanour, he’d not be entitled to “good behaviour” reductions.

        • At least he’s not Australian. I can’t imagine the shame of having to submit to a public booting.

        • He’s been ordered to turn himself in to commence his sentence on 5 November, so I assume he is not presently in custody. He most likely has been out on bail pending trial and sentencing and thus wouldn’t have much time served, other than the time he was held in police custody following the initial arrest and whenever he made bail which I imagine doesn’t really count.

  • Well, on one hand, it’s good that people are being punished for a serious crime (and Swatting IS a serious crime, people have the potential to be accidentally killed and the police can inflict property damage, not to mention that it wastes time and a huge amount of money). On the other hand, this guy is going to have a felony conviction against him for the rest of his life. Yes, he is 22, he’s not a child, and he should know better. But a 22 year old with a felony conviction will find it very hard to get a job and will probably send him into a “crime spiral”, in which he resorts to crime because he can’t get a job, which makes it less likely for him to get a job so he commits even more crime.

    I’m not sympathetic to this guy’s plight – he earned his troubles. But from a purely pragmatic standpoint, it’s not a good idea to give a criminal no way to participate meaningfully in civilised society.

    • This is basically the whole issue behind the prison system.
      Imagine you are a parent and you have a really naughty child so you lock them in their room. Now your other child starts acting up a little too. Do you lock them in the same room as the naughty child, and honestly expect them to be both become less naughty because of it? That’s prison for ya…

      • The idea behind prison in theory is to remove dangerous people from law-abiding society and rehabilitate them so that they can be successfully reintegrated. It’s not supposed to be for punishment at all.

        In practice, it’s used for punishment. Mandatory sentencing laws do much more harm than good and (surprise) only really became an issue after the US privatised the prison system. Lobby groups funded by the prison companies have a vested interest in keeping their populations up for maximum profit. They also have no interest in rehabilitating or reforming offenders, because rehabilitation costs too much and a revolving door is also good for business.

        • So basically, currently we stick people in prison, keep them alive and that’s good enough.
          But what we really need is more money and resources poured into it so these inmates are getting educated and taught skills so they have a better alternative to crime?

          more money
          Now I see the problem…

    • Or rather, maybe we should change policy such that it’s actually possible to ‘pay your debt to society’ through prison as opposed to continuing to pay for it for the rest of your life afterwards.

  • Wait, what? He got a jail sentence for providing phone numbers? Sorry but that’s a little snarfed up.

    • How so? Accessory to a crime is also a crime. The getaway driver doesn’t participate in the bank robbery directly but he’s still a participant and he still cops a prison sentence when caught.

  • Ahhh justice.

    Now lets organise a reverse SWAT where a whole group of inmates rush his cell 😛

  • Seems fair. And anyone trying to write this off as not worthy of jail time – stop and think about it for a moment. The guy deliberately and maliciously attained people’s details and played a part in SWAT teams being called to people’s houses. That’s not the cops rocking up at your door and knocking for a friendly chat. That’s a van full of highly trained police with military grade gear ready to take shit down at a second’s notice. They’re under the assumption there’s a potential hostage situation/murder, etc taking place. Apart from the wasted taxpayer money and police resources, there’s the danger to human life and the potential trauma for those on the receiving end. No ‘lulz’ there, that just isn’t even approaching funny. There needs to be consequences for shit like this – so not only does he have to serve time, but now this guy has to live the rest of his life with a criminal record. That’s no small thing. It also sets a precedent so even if it doesn’t stop swatting, it’s gotta stop a certain percentage of people.

    He didn’t make the calls, but he might as well have. He knew what it was being used for. People get away with far too much shit like this these days.

  • If this dude only provided the phone numbers, what happened to the rest of them?

    Glad to see it though, i think its a fitting punishment. Not too over the top, but enough that hopefully he’ll learn his lesson

    • As FoxCT reports, Tollis was sentenced last week for his part in the calls, in which he acted as a kind of local agent for a team of British hackers, obtaining things like phone numbers and “other information” on American schools (and the Boston Convention Exhibition Center) so they could make the actual calls.

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