By Jacques Billeaud
PHOENIX (AP) — A man has been indicted on federal charges of hacking into government websites in Arizona and Wisconsin, including a cyberattack that came three days after a police shooting of an unarmed man in the city of Madison and interrupted communications equipment for emergency workers there.
Randall Charles Tucker of Apache Junction, Arizona, is charged with intentional damage to protected computers and threatening damage to protected computers for allegedly attacking municipal computer systems in March 2015 in Madison and two Phoenix suburbs, Chandler and Mesa.
He also is accused of attacking the Washington, D.C.-based News2Share site in late 2014 after it failed to run a video he had provided. The video’s contents weren’t publicly revealed.
It’s unknown whether Tucker has an attorney, and there was no listed phone number for his home. He hasn’t yet made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Phoenix.
The indictment says Tucker temporarily disabled access to the city of Madison’s website and crippled the automatic dispatch system for emergency workers.
The attack came three days after a white Madison police officer fatally shot Tony Robinson, a 19-year-old biracial man, during an altercation in an apartment building stairwell. The shooting put the police department under intense scrutiny and sparked days of protests. The officer was eventually cleared of criminal wrongdoing.
The indictment against Tucker doesn’t mention the shooting.
Less than a week after the Madison hack, authorities say Tucker launched an attack on city websites in Mesa and Chandler that temporarily made them inaccessible to users.