Posted: Feb 10, 2013 8:30 PM by Mitch Bryan
Updated: Feb 10, 2013 11:18 PM
ANNAVILLE - Police blocked off the 4200 block of Wandering Creek out in Annaville after they received an Internet alert about a hostage situation inside a home. But as it turns out, the whole thing was just a big hoax.
Some of our viewers may have heard of the term "swatting" before, it's an internet prank where someone makes false reports to police, thus forcing them to send a team to the location.
Now police officials cannot confirm if today's incident was a case of "swatting" just yet, but it did cause a whole lot of chaos for reports that just weren't true.
This peaceful street looked like a warzone as SWAT snipers and officers took position around this home.
"We were going to take our dog for a walk and as we were walking outside they were yelling go back inside."
Sarah Miller and other neighbors were told to stay inside because there had been a shooting and a man was now hunkered down inside with an AK47.
"It was crazy! There were ambulances, police cars and SWAT guys everywhere," Miller said.
But all that turned out to be wrong.
"There's no good reason for it, for sure," said Kirk Stowers, with the CCPD.
Police say they received an Internet alert telling them that two people had been shot and a man with a gun had taken hostages. But before the SWAT team decided to break in the door, they got a hold of the homeowner.
Turns out he, his son and his wife were all out of the house at the time, so it couldn't be them. He gave the SWAT team his keys and they went inside and found the home empty, just as the home owner said.
It had all been a hoax.
"This is going to be a big bill to the City. We're very upset about that. There's a lot of resources, people that were called in on their day off to come out. So now the City has to pay for the overtime," Stowers said.
So the SWAT team packed up their gear and left, but investigators say they are not finished yet. They are going to follow leads in hopes of finding the person who sent them the bad information and possibly arrest them for making a False Report to a Police Officer.
Meanwhile, the neighborhood went back to it's Sunday, in hopes that all would remain peaceful.
Miller said, "Well at least it wasn't true, that's good. So, I guess that is a good thing. But it kind of sucks that someone would lie about something like that."
Making a false report to police officers is a Class B Misdemeanor that could land the person in jail, but officers say they do not want today's incident to discourage anyone from calling them if they see an emergency taking place. It's only if you knowingly lie to police that you could face criminal charges.
Do you have a tip, information about a breaking news story, or a story idea for 6 Investigates? Contact the KRIS 6 News Desk at 361-884-6666 or send us an email.
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