NewsLEX 18 Investigates


Law enforcement discusses growing push to make "swatting" a felony crime in Kentucky

Posted at 3:38 PM, Apr 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-16 19:23:40-04

GEORGETOWN, Ky. (LEX 18) — In a recent LEX 18 Investigates report, a Georgetown couple discussed the terrifying night they were "swatted" at their home.

No one was hurt, but the hoax caused a lot of anxiety and trauma for the victims.

"I went outside with officers that still had their guns drawn and I started saying, "What's going on, What's happening?" said the wife, who did not wish to be identified.

As it stands now, the unknown caller who reported a fake homicide at the couple's home would face a misdemeanor charge of falsely reporting an incident.

That doesn't sit well with the victims.

"Legislation needs to show that this is not acceptable," said the female victim.

LEX 18 showed the couple's dramatic Ring video to Scott County Sheriff Tony Hampton who says after this incident, he will do whatever he can to make "swatting" a felony in the state.

"If we can make this a felony in Kentucky we can deter it from happening. This is the second time it's happened to us since I've been sheriff and I'm pretty sure it happened to Georgetown City Police two if not three times," said Hampton.

A national swatting expert also weighed in on the problem.

"I listened to this call and it was very, very disturbing," said Arlington Assistant Chief of Police Kevin Kolbye, a former 28-year veteran of the FBI in Dallas who has investigated hundreds of swatting incidents.

"I can tell you as a state and local agency of 400,000 we are getting six to 10 a year, so if you do your math, we're into thousands a year of swatting calls that are occurring around the U.S.," said Kolbye.

"The more that these subjects are identified, prosecuted and arrested with serious time, that's one solution," said Kolbye.