Alan Filion made a brief appearance before a Seminole County judge on Wednesday. The 17-year-old teenager from California is currently charged with three felonies and a misdemeanor. According to authorities, he allegedly called 911 dispatchers in May 2023 and made a threatening statement about carrying out a mass shooting at a mosque.
Alan Filion appeared before a judge in Seminole County on Wednesday, making a brief court appearance.
The incident took place at the Masjid Al Hayy Mosque in Sanford.
The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office reported that Filion also made false claims of possessing explosive devices and played a recording of gunfire during the 911 call. As a result, approximately 30 law enforcement officers were dispatched to the mosque, only to discover that the entire incident was a fabrication.
According to court documents, Filion is accused of carrying out swatting attacks on high schools, historically black colleges, and FBI buildings. Additionally, it is alleged that he made threats to bomb military bases, including the Pentagon, among other targets.
Senator Rick Scott recently proposed the Preserving Safe Communities by Ending Swatting Act, which aims to hold individuals accountable for the serious harm caused by swatting attacks. Under this legislation, those who make false emergency calls leading to injuries could potentially be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.
According to Senator Scott, his bill aims to address the issue of wasted resources and the potential harm caused to individuals. He emphasizes the importance of prioritizing the needs of the community by ensuring that law enforcement is not diverted from more crucial tasks. As he puts it, “Somebody could die, somebody’s terrorized, and it’s a waste of resources. So somebody else might not get taken care of because law enforcement is doing something over here.”
Senator Scott personally experienced a swatting call, leaving him well aware of the malicious intent behind such actions.
“They have the intention of causing harm to individuals,” stated the Florida Senator during an interview with FOX 35 News. “Therefore, it is evident that this constitutes a criminal act. Any individual who causes harm should face significant jail time. This kind of behavior is simply malevolent.”
Filion is being tried as an adult and is being held without bond due to prosecutors’ belief that no conditions of release would adequately protect the community from potential harm.
The swatting incidents that Filion is accused of in other states would be handled and prosecuted at the local level in each jurisdiction.
Filion’s arraignment in Seminole County is scheduled for March 19, when he will appear in court again.
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