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YouTube personality victim of supposed ‘swatting’ prank

A YouTube personality known for filming his daily life and for pranking people was broadcasting live Friday evening when officers from the Burbank Police Department approached him with their guns drawn, unknowingly enlisted in an alleged “swatting” prank directed at him.

Around 6:30 p.m., Paul Denino, better known by his online moniker “Ice Poseidon,” was getting into the car of a fan of his YouTube channel on San Fernando Boulevard off of Olive Avenue when Burbank police blocked the road in front of and behind him. The entire incident was captured by Denino, who was live-streaming his day in Burbank.

In the video, the car’s driver could be heard saying “oh my god, it’s a swat,” referring to the type of hoax where police are deliberately called to respond to nonexistent incidents.

Burbank Police Lt. Scott Meadows said police were called to the location after receiving a call of an armed robbery committed by a person matching Denino’s description.

In the video, Denino could be seen apologizing to the unidentified driver who he had just met minutes before police arrived.

This is not the first time he has been the victim of swatting.

In April, police were called to his home while he was live streaming a video game he was playing. In that instance, officers could be seen pulling Denino aside and entering his home.

Later that month, Denino was pulled off a flight from Los Angeles that was grounded in Phoenix after someone pretending to be him called in a bomb threat.

During the incident in Burbank, Denino could be heard telling a police officer he’s been swatted “like 30 times” and once informed the Los Angeles Police Department to ignore any calls concerning him.

In this instance, he forgot to notify Burbank police of any possible swatting attempts.

“People who call are not my fans, they’re my haters,” he said in the video. “They think it’s funny.”

Meadows said officers quickly found no evidence of a robbery and let Denino go. The incident remains under investigation.

andy.nguyen@latimes.com

A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Paul Denino was pulled off a Los Angeles-bound flight from Phoenix in April. The flight originated in Los Angeles and was grounded in Phoenix.
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