STERLING HEIGHTS (WWJ) – A prank call into the Sterling Heights Police Department could result in criminal charges for a man according to authorities.
Police say they were called to a home on Pinebrook Drive — near 17 Mile Road and Dequindre — just after 11 o’clock Wednesday night. The male caller told 9-1-1 that he had just shot his father in the head and was holding his mother and two sister hostage. He even went as far to say he secured pipe bombs around the hostages’ feet and was demanding $10,000 in ransom money from the police.
When officers arrived, they realized nothing was going on — and that the call was, in fact, a prank, police call “swatting.”
An investigation has revealed that this incident stemmed from a dispute on social media.
What is swatting?
Swatting involves making a false call to emergency services like 9-1-1 — with a made-up scenario like a bomb threat, murder or hostage situation, sending first responders like police or other emergency response teams to another person’s address — with the intent of harassing the person on the receiving end of the police response.
Sterling Heights police sending out a warning now that swatting is not a joke and will be taken seriously and prosecuted as warranted.