Oviedo, Florida, police threatened to file felony charges against whoever made a phony 911 “swatting” call today that led as many as 30 officers from three agencies to surround a home where someone supposedly had shot and killed another person with an AR-15 rifle, reports the Orlando Sentinel. In fact, the two people inside were actually sound asleep, Police Lt. Mike Beavers said. After two hours, detectives determined the two were victims of “swatting,” or the use of a smart phone or tablet application to call 911 anonymously and report a fake emergency. “Using that app, they’re able to disguise where the call is coming from,” Beavers said.
It’s a popular prank used against celebrities in California. Singer Justin Timberlake, actor Tom Cruise and reality-TV family The Kardashian-Jenners have been “swatted.” In today’s Florida incident, officers used a PA system to try to get a response from someone inside the house before discovering the hoax.