Documents: ‘Swatting’ suspect engaged in cross-country feud
WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Court documents say the Delaware man indicted by a federal court for “swatting” incidents had engaged in a cross-country feud with a man he’d met on the phone and who had called in hoaxes about him before.
The Delaware News Journal reports the unsealed documents say 29-year-old Rodney Phipps met 29-year-old Stephen Landes of New Mexico in a phone chat room in 2013. Their relationship reportedly turned hostile and investigators say Landes made emergency calls pretending to be Phipps in incidents that locked down a Georgetown, Delaware, elementary school and a Walmart in 2018.
Phipps was recently arrested for making similar calls between 2015 and 2017, causing police and SWAT teams to respond to locations across the U.S.
Landes has been in federal custody since last year. Phipps faces false threat charges.