Police searching for caller in “swatting” case

(WLNS) – Swatting is becoming an increasing problem around the country and right here in Michigan it’s basically a fake 911 call.

It’s called swatting because in most cases when these calls come in the swat team will be called out.

Michigan State Police along with many other agencies went to the home outside Portland Sunday. They say these fake phone calls are dangerous because it takes officers off the street for some time.

“Dispatch is sending police officers and they are going at a high rate of speed. They are trying to get over there to protect someone’s life and when they get to the residence they find that there is nobody home,” said Lt. Kevin Sweeney, Michigan State Police.

That’s exactly what happened in Danby Township Sunday. Michigan State Police, Ionia Sheriff Deputies and other local police forces show up, expecting the worse.

“They’re thinking worst case scenario in the back of their heads that we may have a barricaded gunman or a hostage situation.”

The caller said he had just killed his girlfriend, her two daughters and was holding the grandmother hostage. Sweeney says dispatch takes every call seriously and they are currently trying to track down whoever is responsible for this hoax.

“The call came into the Ionia central dispatch as an anonymous call. We’re looking to see if we can trace it, if that’s possible or not. That part of the investigation continues.”

It was a relative that told police the family was out of town. When police checked on them, everyone was accounted for.

Swatting is a very serious crime and police will seek charges against the person responsible.

If you have any information on Sunday’s swatting, you’re urged to call the Michigan State Police Lakeview post at 989-352-8444.

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