Peter Simeti was in the middle of a live stream on Feburary 12th when local police showed up at his door. They were responding to a false report that an anonymous person called in, claiming to be Simeti and stating he had just stabbed his girlfriend and was going to hurt himself. According to the brief statement on Alterna’s Twitter page:
At approximately 10pm on Feb. 12th during a YouTube stream (now made private), police visited the home of publisher Peter Simeti under false pretenses of a violent domestic call.
We are working with local law enforcement to learn more about the situation and what can be done.
— Alterna Comics (@ALTERNACOMICS) February 13, 2019
According to Simeti’s own Twitter page he is cooperating with local police, and an investigation is underway.
Update: Just got back from meeting with the police and an investigation has been opened.
As a result, I can’t comment further on this situation but I’m glad they are taking this very seriously and have been fully briefed on the extent of the matter.
— Peter Simeti 💬 (@petersimeti) February 13, 2019
Swatting is a crime in which someone calls the police and makes a false police report, often a violent one or threat of suicide in order to escalate police response to the level where they may use deadly force. In 2015 a Swatting incident led to the injury of police chief Louis Ross when he breached the home of an unsuspecting and armed citizen who had been swatted by James Edward Holly. Ross survived. In 2017 police responded to a false report and the victim of the swatting, Andrew Finch, was killed.
Multiple incidents have been reported in the US, going back to 2009 and have cost taxpayers countless dollars. But, more importantly, the victims have suffered fear and harassment at the hands of these criminals, most of who are caught. In 2015 Congress passed a bill making Swatting a federal crime with increased consequences.