- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A gamer who lost an online battle of “Call of Duty” took out his frustration to the extreme, calling in a hoax threat that ultimately sent an army of ground police, helicopter cops and emergency response vehicles to the home of the game winner.

The police apparently had their guns drawn when they arrived at the Long Island home, the New York Post reported.

The complaint — a prank, it turns out — was allegedly initiated over Skype against winning gamer Rafael Castillo, 17, of Long Beach. The prank caller told police he was Rafael and that: “I just killed my mother, and I might shoot more people,” police reported.

But Rafael was simply the winning gamer — and his losing competitor was angry that he had been eliminated from the online game, police said. Still, police didn’t know that and went on high alert, the New York Post said.

They responded to the home with scrambled helicopters and 60 armed officers, including members of the Nassau County special operations elite unit, a SWAT team. Firetrucks also sped to the home, the New York Post said.

What they found was completely contrary to the complaint: Rafael’s mother was in the kitchen and Rafael’s brother, Jose, was just arriving home for lunch. Rafael, meanwhile, was still inside with his headphones on, playing the online game, completely oblivious to the chaotic scene that played outside his home.

“He didn’t realize anything was going on; he couldn’t hear anything,” his brother told the New York Post. “I told him that there’s a bunch of cops outside that are looking for you.”

He finally went outside and helped clarify what happened.

“I right away had an idea what it was because I’ve seen [pranks like this] on the news,” Rafael’s brother told the newspaper.

Rafael is a junior in high school, home on spring break. Police said the caller who initiated the massive emergency response most likely traced Rafael’s IP address to locate his home.

“It was probably just an evil little kid,” an officer told the New York Post. “We went and checked out the place and there was nothing there. … It sucked up a lot of resources, caused traffic problems. Turned out to be a hoax.”

Police are currently trying to track down the prankster.