SWAT call at Lake Tahoe estate determined to be ‘swatting’ prank
A 911 call that prompted a response from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Special Weapons and Tactics Team on Thursday was determined to be a case of “swatting.”
Dispatchers received a call at 6:43 a.m. from the Live Violence Free crisis hotline center.
The caller said they received a call from someone claiming to be a 13-year-old girl who was pregnant by her father and said she was being held at a home in the 500 block of U.S. 50 in Zephyr Cove.
As Douglas County Sheriff’s deputies and Tahoe-Douglas firefighters arrived, the caller told dispatchers her father was armed and knew deputies were there and was refusing to open the door.
“The female then reported her father would shoot law enforcement personnel if they came into the residence and was pointing the weapon at her,” Capt. Ron Mitchitarian said.
Under the circumstances, SWAT, the Crisis Negotiation Team and the sheriff’s drone unit responded.
“Subsequently, access to the residence was made and the interior was searched, finding no one there.”
Dispatchers pinged the phone the call was made from, which determined someone was in San Antonio, Texas. Emergency responders cleared the location by 9:30 a.m.
Sheriff’s investigators believe the call was a hoax.
Michitarian said “swatting” involves making a prank call to law enforcement to bring a large number of people to an address.
“This practice is unlawful and very dangerous to everyone involved,” he said. “It ties up and delays emergency personnel from responding to other calls for services and emergencies.”