Patterico's Pontifications


Perpetrator of Deadly SWATting Call Enters Guilty Plea

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:50 pm

He is looking at a lot of time. Good.

A California man has admitted making a hoax call that ultimately led police to fatally shoot a Kansas man following a dispute between online gamers over $1.50 bet in a Call of Duty WWII video game.

Twenty-six-year-old Tyler R. Barriss pleaded guilty to making a false report resulting in a death, cyberstalking and conspiracy related to the deadly swatting case in the Kansas. The deal with prosecutors will send him to prison for at least 20 years, if the judge accepts it. He had previously pleaded not guilty in Kansas.

As part of the plea agreement, Barriss pleaded guilty to a total of 51 charges that included similar charges initially filed in California and the District of Columbia.

What a tragic case. It was, in truth, a murder. But this is at least some justice for Andrew Finch and his family.

If you’re new to this story, you can read my post about this deadly SWATting here, as well as my own account of having been a SWATting victim in the past. I published the audio of the SWATting call and the body cam footage of the shooting here. I posted about the arrest of the suspect here.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

7 Responses to “Perpetrator of Deadly SWATting Call Enters Guilty Plea”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. Barriss should never see the light of day as a free man again.

    Gryph (08c844)

  3. At least 20 years for that crime is the least he should pay for the price of taking another man’s life. I really hope that the law is changed so that, sentencingwise, SWATting is treated the same as arson.

    Paul Montagu (70fe18)

  4. It’s very good that the perpetrator of the call is going away for a long time.

    At the time of the shooting, the initial reports were vague on why the police used deadly force on the unarmed victim. It in no way diminishes the guilt of the slimeball who made the call, but was any fault assigned to the officer who pulled the trigger?

    Dave (9664fc)

  5. All over a video game.


    DCSCA (797bc0)

  6. I was swatted once. It was way back in the early 80s. I was an undergraduate at UT in Austin at the time.

    This friend of mine, Ray, had a dog named Hombres. He was a white pure bred American pit bull. (Say what you will about the breed, but Hombres was a good dog.) One Saturday morning, I was over at Ray’s house, and we were kicking back, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes, watching cartoons. The Little Rascals came on. I looked at their dog, Petey (a white pure bred American pitt bull), turned to Ray and said, “You know, Hombres looks just like Petey, except he doesn’t have a black circle around his eye.”

    Well, there was a simple solution to that. I held Hombres’s head while Ray took a black magic marker and drew a circle around his eye. Then we put a red bandana around his neck over his leash and took him for a walk through Zilker Park.

    Two guys, walking a dog through a park, and this man came up to us and said, “I’ll give you $20 if you let me take a picture of my kids with your dog.” Okay, so we sat Hombres under a shady tree with his children and let him take a picture. Next thing you know, all these people were coming up and giving us money to take a picture of their children with Hombres (Petey). By the end of the afternoon, we had several hundred dollars!

    What to do with all of this money? Um, blow it on 6th Street and pick up coeds at bars. (It was Austin in the early 80s.) So we formulated a plan. On Saturday mornings, we would dress up Hombres as Petey, take him for a walk through Zilker Park, and let people give us money to take pictures of their kids with this dog, then blow it all on 6th Street, picking up coeds.

    It was a brilliant plan in its simplicity, and it worked gloriously. After a couple of months, we started thinking. Instead of wasting this money in bars on coeds, why don’t we save and invest it? We could set up a studio–it wouldn’t take much, a room, a camera, and a background screen–print some ads–“Pictures with Petey”–and let people come to us to take pictures of their kids with this dog, instead of walking him through the park. That’s what we were planning, a business venture.

    Then one Saturday morning, just as we were dressing up Hombres as Petey, there was a loud knock on the door. “POLICE!” And this tactical SWAT team kicked the door open and stormed in. “Freeze! Restrain that dog!” They held us a gunpoint with semi-automatic rifles and promptly proceeded to tear the house apart. And I mean they tore the house apart, while we sat in fear on the couch, holding Hombres. They went through every drawer, every cabinet, the refrigerator, every closet in every room, turned the bed over, and what did they find?

    Ray had this old short barrel shotgun with a pistol grip and a brass knuckle knife that he had inherited from his grandfather, who fought in WW I. They confiscated those, and then they left. Without any explanation, they just left us sitting on the couch terrified, holding a dog; the entire house torn apart.

    We looked at each other and asked, “What just happened?” I mean, we had committed no crime, but we had been held at gunpoint by a tactical assault team with semi-automatic weapons–we’re lucky they didn’t shoot us and the dog. They just tore the whole house apart and left, with nothing but a couple of old war momentoes. What sense to make of that?! We called the owner and told him, hey, the police just stormed in and tore the house apart. We didn’t know what to think. He came over and asked what we had done wrong. Nothing! We walked a dog through a park. He said he would get to the bottom of it.

    A couple of weeks later, we found out. Ray had picked up this coed on one of our weekend jaunts, dated her for a short while, took her out on a couple of dates, then broke up with her. An ordinary college dating scene. She, apparently not being able to handle being dumped by some boy she met in a bar, had called an anonymous tip line and told the Austin PD that he was a major cocaine dealer.

    That’s it. That’s all it takes. An anonymous call to a tip line, a false accusation. No investigation, no charges, no warrant, no indictment, no trial, no conviction. That’s all it takes for two innocent boys and a dog to be held at gunpoint by a tactical assault unit, fearing for their lives. Think about it.

    Nothing ever happened to this stupid girl. The owner of the house had to pay for all the damages. Austin SWAT certainly wasn’t held responsible–they were operating under a tip on a hotline. And we were left terrified–two boys and a dog–in a torn up house, all because some coed couldn’t take being dumped. Think about it. If it happened to us, it could happen to you. This is the insanity of the world we live in, and that was 35 years ago. Look at us today.

    Scott Collier (b25cd1)

  7. What is the purpose of the 4th amendment?

    Scott Collier (b25cd1)

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