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Police Respond to “Swatting” Incident in Forest Grove

Sunday, February 11, 2001

 

Officers with the Forest Grove Police Department, along with deputies from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded to a “swatting” incident in Forest Grove on Tuesday.

"Swatting" is a term describing a false call made to emergency services of an ongoing critical incident and derives from the specialized type of police units and equipment that often respond to such incidents. These incidents have become fads in the gaming community where players livestream game play and are watched by other gamers that phone in the false reports. 

Police received a calla 6:10 PM on February 9 reporting that a woman had been shot in the 3300 block of Main Street. Information received in the call included that the suspect had barricaded himself in a room with the victim.

Police units quickly arrive at he address. When they got they’re, the began shutting down streets in the area. Police also made contact with the home’s residents, who were fully cooperative with their investigation. The residents said no murder or shooting had occurred.

During the investigation, the homeowner told police that he was an avid online gamer. He also told the officer it was not his first experience with a hoax requiring such an emergency response.

The resident told police that roughly two years earlier, a prank call of a gas leak in his home was made resulting in a fire department response. The resident suspects someone in the online gaming community in both incidents. 

Calling in a false report like this is costly, according to police. Misleading reports can exhaust resources for hours and pull emergency services away from legitimate calls for assistance.

Calls can also cause panic and duress for homeowners and neighbors. They can also place officers and the general public at risk.

Making false reports of this nature can result in serious charges, including but not limited to, improper use of emergency reporting system and initiating a false report. 

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Forest Grove Police at (503) 992-3260.

 

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