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Man gets 30 months in prison in Thousand Oaks 'swatting' case

November 06, 2013|By Kate Linthicum

A man convicted in a Thousand Oaks "swatting" incident for falsely police he was armed with an AK-47 and ready to kill hostages has been sentenced to 30 months in prison.

Nathan Hanshaw, 22, was convicted of making interstate threats, threatening to use explosives and threats to use a firearm during the January hoax, as well as during similar incidents in New York and Colorado, according to authorities.

Hanshaw called 911 and told operators he was a fugitive holed up in a La Quinta Inn in Newbury Park, according to Thousands Oaks police. He claimed to have hundreds of rounds of ammunition, demanded money and a helicopter ride to Mexico and threatened to kill law enforcement personnel who arrived to stop him.

The call triggered a massive response, with police and agents with the FBI and the Department of Defense swarming the hotel.

But Hanshaw, of Athol, Mass., was nowhere near Thousand Oaks. Police believe he was trying to harass an acquaintance who was staying at the hotel.

PHOTOS: Celebrity 'swatting' targets

Thousand Oaks Police Det. Todd Welty said Hanshaw knew the man from the world of online video games.

"They had a disagreement and there was some bad blood," Welty said.

Local law enforcement authorities have been struggling to fight a rise in swatting incidents, including many hoaxes that target the homes of celebrities. The false alarms tie up Los Angeles Police Department resources and some responding officers have been injured responding to fake calls.

This week, the Los Angeles City Council approved a measure to allow the city to offer rewards in suspected swatting cases. Council members have also called for an ordinance that would require hoax perpetrators to pay restitution to the LAPD for all costs incurred while answering a false alarm.

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Twitter: @katelinthicum

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