California Teen Arrested for numerous ‘Swatting’ Calls in Pennsylvania

Nathaniel Sean Deleaon, 19, of Tulare, California, was detained after a string of dangerous swatting calls in Cumberland and Franklin Counties in Pennsylvania. The act of falsely reporting a serious or violent crime or emergency in order to elicit a significant police enforcement response, sometimes involving tactical or specialist units such as bomb or SWAT teams, is referred to as swatting.

The string of occurrences began in June 2023 and culminated on November 30, 2023, when Pennsylvania State Police, along with multiple municipal police agencies, responded to a bomb threat at Big Spring High School in West Pennsboro Township. The school was evacuated, and pupils and staff were dismissed early, despite the fact that no explosive devices were discovered on the campus.

Deleaon was identified as the culprit behind the bomb threat and numerous other swatting calls in the area following investigations by the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) in Carlisle, the PSP Bureau of Criminal Investigations, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). These threats were discovered to be part of Deleaon’s efforts to stalk and harass a local underage student he met online.

California Teen Arrested for numerous ‘Swatting’ Calls in Pennsylvania

Deleaon’s acts, which law enforcement described as endangering public safety, stalking, terroristic threats, and harassment, lasted several months and required major emergency service resources. His techniques are a rising source of concern for law enforcement agencies coping with the risky and resource-intensive nature of swatting calls.

The FBI conducted a search warrant at Deleaon’s house in California on December 22, leading to his arrest based on the Cumberland County arrest warrant. He is currently being held in a California prison awaiting extradition to Pennsylvania.

This case highlights the serious impact of swatting on communities, the dangers it poses to public safety, and the considerable resources necessary for law enforcement to respond to and investigate these events. While Deleaon awaits trial, the residents of Cumberland and Franklin Counties must deal with the unsettling reality of how internet interactions may grow into real-world threats and disturbances.

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