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‘Swatting’ call brings Stafford Sheriff’s office to home for phony hostage situation

Posted at 3:36 PM, Oct 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-04 15:40:22-04

STAFFORD, Va. — The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office responded to a suspected ‘swatting’ – or prank call – last night after a male subject called 911 demanding money for two hostages.

Shortly after 6 p.m., multiple sheriff’s units entered a residence on Burns Road in response to a call claiming that two hostages were tied up – and that for every hour that the caller did not receive $20,000 – the hostages would be hurt. The caller then disconnected and the 911 Call Center was unable to reach him again.  Out of “an abundance of caution,” the Sheriff’s office personnel treated the event as real. Multiple K9 units responded to the scene and set up a perimeter around the residence.

The homeowners quickly came to the door and cooperated with the law enforcement investigation.

Officials with the Sheriff’s office determined that the incident was a “swatting” call, or when someone makes a prank 911 call with a false story of an ongoing crime, often involving hostages, to provoke a SWAT response.

This incident remains under investigation.