Some think 'swatting' is a prank, but officers warn it could cost lives
A SWAT team. Credit: KMOV
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) -
It is becoming more common. Just a couple weeks ago, there was a swatting incident in Granite City, the second time since April for the family involved there.
Investigators at the Jefferson County Sheriff Department are looking into that call they received Tuesday afternoon. 911 dispatch took a call from a man claiming to have killed six of his children and tied his wife up to kill next.
"He indicated that he had three different types of weapons, a pressure cooker bomb and made threats towards law enforcement," says Lt. Gary Higginbotham.
Deputies raced 30 minutes away from the sheriff's office to Highway WW, near Canyon Lane. It borders Franklin County.
"The conditions of the roadway are very hilly, a lot of blind corners, narrow roadways. So really our travel time at high speed is very dangerous," says Higginbotham.
People went straight to Facebook when they saw police. Many wrote looking for answers as to what was happening. In all about 30 officers responded. The SWAT team was on standby.
"Especially when children are involved, emotions become involved for us and we need to get there quickly," says Higginbotham.
When police got there, it turned out to be a hoax. They tell News 4 this call in particular gave off some red flags from the start.
"He was very specific the original call he was very calm cool and collected," says Higginbotham
But the protocol is to see the call through until the end.
"Whoever called in this prank could have least have heart enough to realize that somebody could have lost their life because we are dealing with your prank," says Higginbotham.
Deputies say the call originated from St. Ann. They went to check out the address, but when they went to the location, they came up dry. Police say that is not unusual because of cell phone towers that could be where someone placed the call but doesn't live there.
Swatting is a serious matter and taken as such. Offenders could face a felony charge of making a false police report and have to pay for the police response to the call.
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Tuesday, December 12 2017 7:00 AM EST2017-12-12 12:00:42 GMT
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