Sterling Heights police issue warning against swatting

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. – Sterling Heights police are sounding the alarm after a fake 911 call sent the SWAT Team scrambling. Now they’re making one thing very clear, if you get caught doing this, you are going to pay dearly. 

"They termed this event a swatting activity ... basically using a false pretense ... calling the police department suggesting there’s a crime occurring, someone being held hostage, in hopes that the police department deploys their SWAT team to someone’s house," Sterling Heights Police Chief Dale Dwojakowski said. 

Dwojakowski says 'swatting' is a new trend, and some may think it’s a game, but he says there is nothing funny about calling in fake 911 calls and abusing police resources. That’s exactly what happened in Sterling Heights on Wednesday.

"We had a call about 11:10 p.m., a call came into our 911 center and the person reported that they had shot their father, and they were going to shoot the mother and he had a couple of sisters in the house and was going to hold them for ransom," Dwojakowski said.

Sterling Heights police responded to the scene, treating the call as a real scenario, only to find out it wasn't.

"We surrounded the house, the homeowner came out with a dog, to take it out to the bathroom, we realized nothing else was going on at the house," Dwojakowski said.

It’s a trend that has been happening all over the country. As a matter of fact, this is the second SWAT call in Sterling Heights in just seven months. 

"This will ruin your life, this will be on your record forever," Dwojakowski said.

That’s why he says it’s important for parents to have a real conversation with their kids. 

The police chief tells Local 4 that police are currently working to identify the caller in the previous phone call and will transfer that person back to Michigan to face charges. 

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