In the summer of 2018, Andrea Rovenski was on the tail end of a Spyro 2 speedrun when, unknown to her, a contingent of armed police officers started organizing outside of her house in Maryland.
Seeing light reflections on her wall and hearing the muffled sound of someone yelling into a megaphone, Rovenski, a streamer by the name Cyberdemon531, looked outside, saw the authorities, and knew exactly what was happening—she was being swatted. Someone had called 911 pretending to be Rovenski, claiming she had a hostage in the basement.
“I go outside and what I see is maybe five or six police cars and 10 to 15 riot cops,” Rovenski told VICE. “They all have assault rifles and they‘re all pointed at me. You know, my arms are up and, you know, it’s horrifying.”
Rovenski, a transgender streamer who had been doxed previously, was familiar with the idea of swatting—lying to authorities about a dangerous situation in the hopes of getting someone raided by armed officers—but her mother was not. After Rovenski was tackled to the ground by police her mom came to the door and was swarmed by the cops. Rovenski said police weren’t kind to her mother’s disability, preventing her from getting on the ground easily and manhandled her. In Rovenski’s livestream from the event, you can hear her mother screaming.
The experience left the two rattled and Rovenski’s mother with nightmares. Less than two months later Rovenski’s mother suffered a stroke—something Rovenski believes is connected to the extremely stressful event—and never fully recovered. (more...)