'Swatting' prank calls for 911 emergencies rock Chesterfield, Commerce Townships

Posted at 8:08 PM, Jan 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-14 20:14:53-05

(WXYZ) — Chesterfield police are responding tonight to a swatting prank that could have gone terribly wrong.

The police department says over the weekend, they pulled out all the stops for a 911 call that turned out to be a fake.

On Saturday at 2:45 a.m., police got a call from an untraceable number. On the line was a man who said he had taken one life and was moments away from taking another, all at a home in a subdivision near 24 mile and Gratiot.

Fire rescue and an ambulance immediately descended on the scene. Countless local and Michigan State Police Officers also rushed to the home, guns drawn. After searching the home and waking up neighbors to investigate, they determined it was all a hoax— meant to ruffle the seemingly targeted homeowner.

The incident comes just days after a separate phony 911 scare unfolded in Commerce Township, where resources were dispatched to a scene for a fake call. Turns out that homeowner had also been targeted by a suspect for a second time, leaving police concerned about an uptick in a practice that can turn deadly.

Police say each prank puts people at risk because you don't how they will react and sometimes the incident, though a false alarm, can cause tension and escalate. In certain cases across the country, swatting attempts have resulted in the death of innocent people. Police also say it’s a huge waste of resources

They are warning the public tonight that this is a felony, punishable for up to 5 years behind bars. While no-one is yet in custody, each department says they are investigating and on a mission to hold the suspects accountable.