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"Swatting" prank terrorizes Wisconsin dad, no joke to cops

MINNEAPOLIS -- A Wisconsin dad enjoying a CBS crime show on television suddenly found himself in a real police drama when law enforcement swarmed his apartment complex in Hudson on Saturday night, reports CBS Minneapolis.

Someone had called the police and reported a deadly shooting at Kevin's apartment (he didn't want his last named published), but investigators discovered it was all a prank known as "swatting," according to the station -- an attempt to bring SWAT police units to the location.

But no one in the neighborhood was laughing, being that it was after 11 at night.

According to the station, dispatchers over the radio said: "Male shot a female in the face with a shotgun, don't know her status, and this is a highly unsafe situation right now."

That sent police into action in Hudson, a part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. Over the radio, traffic continues: "He's still at the residence. He's saying if you come near him, he's going to start shooting and has the door booby-trapped with C4."

Chief Marty Jensen of Hudson said Monday, "If we get calls like this, we're responding very, very, very cautiously because you never know if it's going to be an ambush situation."

As is standard, a number of agencies answered the Saturday night call, reports CBS Minneapolis, including SWAT, local officers, and troopers. "We had to shut down city streets," Jensen said. "We had five other agencies that were helping us out. We had a lot of manpower for this incident."

The caller said he lived in a Hudson neighborhood, but when police arrived at the caller's address, they found Kevin, a single dad who was home alone, quietly watching NCIS, reports the station.

"If I would not have answered my phone, they were going to come through my door," Kevin said.

It seems the caller was "swatting," or faking a call pretending to be Kevin, to bring police to the scene.

"It's to try to get the cops all riled up, get them to one location and watch their tactics to see what they do, but it's not funny," Chief Jensen said, according to the station. "It's a waste of time, it's a waste of money."

The station said it took a three-hour search of Kevin's house to verify it was a prank. And this wasn't the first time police had seen "swatting" in the area; Jensen says it has happened a few times.

He also says it's a crime, and that police plan to find out who made the fake call and ask them to pay back the city.

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