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Janesville hoax call part of national trend

Janesville hoax call part of national trend

08/28/2014 UPDATE:

Janesville Police are investigating what they describe as a "swatting" incident on Sunday. A 9-1-1 caller reported he had shot his mother and had his brother hostage, prompting a full-scale SWAT response.

Law enforcement on scene determined it was a hoax.

Swatting is a trend hitting cities nationwide. It involves someone making up a situation to generate a SWAT response.

"It certainly isn't funny. It's putting our officers at risk, our citizens at risk," said Janesville Deputy Police Chief John Olsen.

NBC15 acquired the 9-1-1 audio from Sunday's incident. The caller told dispatch he had a rifle in his hand and was going to go shoot his brother.

Multiple agencies responded, limiting law enforcement resources.

"Not only does it have a negative impact on the city, it also impacted the county that day. Any other calls for service, non-emergency, more routine calls, they stacked and citizens had to wait because we had to deal with this," Olsen said.

Olsen didn't know the exact cost for this hoax, but he said "it adds up" with the multiple officers who were called to respond.

Police are investigating who was behind the call. Anyone found making a false report like this can face felony charges.

"Whether they were mad at somebody making the phone call, or they thought it was funny, it's serious and that's how we handle it," Olsen said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Janesville Police at 608-757-2244.

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Janesville police are investigating a hoax Sunday afternoon that sent the SWAT team to a residence, for a potential shooting and hostage situation.

Police were told that someone shot one person with a rifle and that another person was behind held hostage at a home on Racine Street. Officers verified that the people named as victims were safe and unharmed.

Authorities are investigating their association with the call.

 

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