But this is even less funny than Rod Farva’s “soap in the coffee” prank.
Doug Bates and his wife, Stacey, were in bed around 10 p.m., their 2-year-old daughters asleep in a nearby room. Suddenly they were shaken awake by the wail of police sirens and the rumble of a helicopter above their suburban Southern California home. A criminal must be on the loose, they thought.
Doug Bates got up to lock the doors and grabbed a knife. A beam from a flashlight hit him. He peeked into the backyard. A swarm of police, assault rifles drawn, ordered him out of the house. Bates emerged, frightened and with the knife in his hand, as his wife frantically dialed 911. They were handcuffed and ordered to the ground while officers stormed the house.
The scene of mayhem and carnage the officers expected was nowhere to be found. Neither the Bateses nor the officers knew that they were pawns in a dangerous game being played 1,200 miles away by a teenager bent on terrifying a random family of strangers. (source)
The whole thing was caused by 18 year old Randal Ellis, who used an internet-based phone service for the hearing impaired to spoof the local 911 center. On the 911 call, “[h]e said he was high on drugs and had just shot his sister.” Apparently, he picked the Ellis family at random, as he did with all 185 of his victims.
Ellis is serving a three year sentence for his shenanigans.
So let this be a lesson to you, kids. Shenanigans are supposed to be cheeky and fun. Ellis’ shenanigans were cruel and tragic…. Which wouldn’t make them shenanigans, at all, really. Evil shenanigans, if you will.