Arizona man indicted for allegedly ‘swatting’ schools, police in multiple states

James Thomas Andrew McCarty was indicted on Dec. 14 on nine counts following multiple...
James Thomas Andrew McCarty was indicted on Dec. 14 on nine counts following multiple threatening calls.(Arizona's Family)
Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 12:09 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- An Arizona grand jury has indicted a Kayenta man after he allegedly made various threats to schools and police departments across multiple states.

The indictment that was filed on Wednesday alleges that James Thomas Andrew McCarty made threats from Kayenta, a small, rural town in the Navajo Nation, about 30 miles from Monument Valley. Those calls would often state that he was about to shoot up schools, had planted pipe bombs, or had killed someone.

Various schools and police agencies in Georgia, New Jersey, Indiana, and Oklahoma were victims of the threats. Court documents state that the threats spanned six months, between January 2021 and June 2021. In one instance, McCarty purportedly called a police department in Ohio, saying he had four bombs planted outside a retail store. The paperwork also says that he would often use someone else’s identity when placing the calls.

McCarty faces nine counts of making a false statement, stalking, aggravated identity theft, and producing false information. In Arizona, false reporting is a misdemeanor, but if you’re caught doing it multiple times, you could face felony charges.

What is “swatting?”

“Swatting is when somebody calls 911 and reports a fake emergency to draw resources, specifically police and fire resources, to a certain location,” Phoenix Police Sgt. Ann Justus previously told Arizona’s Family. “What people have to realize is you’re diverting critical resources, first responders who are out there and can help in a real emergency. Firefighters who might be better served saving a life somewhere else, and you’re diverting those resources to someone who doesn’t need them. Innocent lives can be affected, and people can lose their lives because of these things.”