PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) – Nearly two dozen officers responded to a residence after getting reports of a home invasion and kidnapping late Friday, but it turned out to be a case of “swatting,” police said.
Officers said they responded to the 11200-block of Southwest Capitol Highway at 11:57 p.m. when a person anonymously called the Bureau of Emergency Communications’ non-emergency line.
Police confirm the caller, a male, reportedly told dispatchers that he took multiple hostages and was threatening violence. Officers immediately responded and started coming up with a rescue plan, police said.
Officers eventually spoke with a person in California who used to live at the address where the reported kidnapping occurred. Police confirmed with that person that they were not in any danger. Officers said they eventually contacted two people inside. Both were sleeping, and had no involvement in the call. Police on scene described them as “innocent victims” of the hoax.
Police said the investigation is ongoing as officers attempt to identify the person responsible for making the report. Officers on scene said potential charges could include filing a false police report and improper use of an emergency reporting system.
“Swatting,” is a dangerous prank that can tie up police resources for hours, officials said. Often times a call is made to emergency dispatch centers reporting either a shooting or hostage situation, which in turns prompts a large police and in some cases tactical and SWAT responses. The caller could be out of state and the “victims” of the swatting may not even know police are outside their home.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to provide it via email to CrimeTips@portlandoregon.gov