Three agencies respond to ‘swatting’ hoax in Bluffdale

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West Jordan man and woman arrested in Saratoga Springs.

BLUFFDALE, Utah — Officers from the Saratoga Springs Police Department are both frustrated and relieved after they responded to a report of a fatal shooting Sunday night that turned out to be a hoax.

“Swatting” is a type of prank in which false information about serious crimes is given to police, who then respond to a scene where no such crimes had occurred.

Saratoga Springs police, including their SWAT team, and officers from two other agencies responded to a home after police dispatch received a report that a man had shot and killed his mother and that he was holding other family members hostage.

As police began setting up a command post, a man came out of the home with his hands up and reported it was all a hoax.

Police told FOX 13 the man had received a call in which he was informed of the swatting incident about an hour before it occurred.

Saratoga Springs Police Chief Andrew Burton said anyone who is warned of an impending swatting hoax should give police a call.

“If they receive a call like this, they should notify local law enforcement in advance so that we can begin investigating the situation right away,” Burton said.

A similar incident occurred in Saratoga Springs last month. A 16-year-old boy was arrested after he allegedly called in a bomb threat on the first day of class at Westlake High School.

A swatting incident in Littleton, Colo. last week made international headlines because it was captured on camera and posted to YouTube. The video was posted Wednesday and has been viewed more than 3.4 million times. (Watch it here.)

Law enforcement officials take swatting pranks very seriously as they use substantial police resources and can divert officers and medical personnel from actual emergencies.

5 comments

  • Finny Wiggen

    Here is a suggestion to lower the resources that you use. Stop using SWAT / Military level responses for day to day police work.

    Yes, I understand lives are at stake. And I agree that those calling in these kinds of pranks aught to be punished. But the police are equally at fault, when they over react to local disturbances with enough fire power to take down the Taliban.

    • Really

      A hostage situation like what was called in here is NOT routine police work…SWAT response to that situation is and should be normal

    • dave

      im with really on this one. a hostage situation is not one you want to show up out gunned too, lives are at stake and you dont want the suspect thinking he has a chance to get away scott free. its in a hostage situation you need special weapons and tactics because its not a normal situation.

      as for your statements about the report between police and citizens… just because the police show up with a appropriate amount of weapons and tactics should not make people think less of the police. and even if they did show up with some excess to the seen… well for goodness sake there are people being used as hostages you wouldnt want the police showing up with anything less than what was needed to get the job done.

      i dont know your opinion about police. i can say i personalty have never met a officer i thought was out of line (im a straight arrow guy so i dont have to deal with the police that much, i guess if your more prone to being the person who is in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong croued with the wrong intentions than your opinions could be different) but if you got along with the police than them showing up with swat to a hostage situation wouldnt make you think they were not professional

      so as far as really’s “opinions” you say you dont like… well id sure want people with opinions like that to be in my town to make sure things got done right because if you show up with less than the right amount of tools and mentality then people die in situations like this.

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