April 1, 2004
The infamous "Baby Hacker" surrendered after a four-hour standoff Thursday morning.
Officials at the Justice Department said the three-year-old would stand trial on several counts for malicious tampering with computer systems, a charge sharply denied by the defendant's lawyer. Investigators instituted a seven-block manhunt before apprehending Alice "Sw33t_P" Harris in her hometown of Plano, Tex.
If convicted, Harris would face a sentence of between seven to ten years in jail and up to $500,000 in fines. The state's assistant attorney general, Wilbur Hoskins Jr., said Harris will be tried as an adult.
Fascinated by computers since her early, early childhood, Harris is alleged to have repeatedly doused the neighbor's PCs with baby formula, irreparably damaging them. Although mystified by the first crimes, Plano police said the alleged hacker quickly established a destructive pattern in neighbors' homes and at local businesses.
"We had a witness tell us that Ms. Harris very clearly stated that the computers were 'ow hot' and needed cooling," Sgt. Bowie Smith of the Plano Police Department said. "Our suspicions were elevated when neighbors complained of troubles with their Nvidia video cards.
"We decided to try and trap the suspect by installing a Media PC with the Intel 'Prescott' chip in the local kindergarten," Smith said. Having run out of formula, police witnessed Harris attempting to urinate on the computer.
Police were unable to subdue the girl, however, who began kicking and screaming. Harris eventually broke free and toddled away, eventually returning to her home at 24 E. Sunnyside Drive. A tense standoff was broken when Mrs. Kathleen Harris, Alice's mother, decided it was time for Alice's nap.
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