Weatherford Democrat

Front Page

August 7, 2013

SWATTED

Police doubt charges will come in case of phone hoax call that led officers to surround local home

By CHRISTIN COYNE

An apparent prank call that led police officers to surround a Weatherford family’s house and wake them up in the middle of the night last week isn’t likely to lead to local prosecution.

Providing an address of a home on Charlie Way in the Bedinger Place subdivision, a caller reportedly told police shortly after 11 p.m. Thursday that a man had chopped his wife’s head off, cut his children’s hands off and was holding the family hostage with an AK-47.

Attempting to check on the occupants’ welfare, Weatherford patrol officers formed a perimeter around the house and attempted to make contact with those inside the home over a loudspeaker.

The homeowner said he was awakened by the phone ringing. Police were on the line and told him to come out of the house with his hands in the air.

Officers quickly realized they didn’t have the situation the caller described.

The phone number appears to have originated out of Phoenix and shows to have been used in numerous scams and hoaxes, according to Weatherford Police CID Sgt. John Rudolph.

Weatherford police will likely forward their case file to Phoenix police, who have jurisdiction in the area, he said.

Because it’s a misdemeanor false alarm offense, it’s not likely anybody would be brought from out of state to face charges locally, according to police.

Federal authorities have also been targeting false emergency reports that can lead to potentially dangerous situations while tying up police resources.

The FBI warned about what they called “the new phenomenon of ‘swatting’” in a 2008 press release. One victim, who had been asleep with his family, brought a kitchen knife to check out a noise outside his house only to find SWAT rifles aimed at him.

Swatting, or reporting a false emergency to authorities that provokes a significant law enforcement response, such as dispatching SWAT teams, has made national news in recent months with many celebrities, such as Justin Beiber, Ryan Seacrest, Ashton Kutcher and Rihanna, targeted.

Text Only
Front Page
  • IMG_7134.JPG Despite cold, peach crops looking rosy

    Parker County peach growers won’t know for sure for a few more days, but as of Wednesday, one day after April temperatures plummeted into the low 30s, they’re predicting a good, even rosy, peach harvest for this year’s Parker County Peach Festival.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Animal shelter throwing a party

    The Weatherford Parker County Animal Shelter made a promise to its staff, volunteers and rescues that if the shelter was able to achieve a 90 percent live release rate by the end of March, the shelter would throw a community-wide party to celebrate its accomplishments.

    April 16, 2014

  • Veterans Memorial Rendering.jpg Cabin fever

    Weatherford Parks and Recreation officials are looking to renovate two areas to make them more user friendly.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Parker County man killed in single-vehicle wreck

    A 60-year-old Parker County man was killed around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in a one-vehicle crash in the 2100 block of FM Road 3325, also known as Farmer Road.

    April 15, 2014

  • 0415 one kidfish.jpg Catching some fun at KidFish

    “Is there anything better than spending time with your kids and teaching them the joys of fishing?” James Shaker, a lifetime Weatherford resident, asked Saturday. “I don’t think so.”

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fund set up for family after losing home

    Two streets down and hours after many members of the East Parker County community gathered April 5 to present a new home built with donations to a local family in need, another family in the West Oak subdivision lost their home to a fire and is now in need of support from the community. 

    April 15, 2014

  • County wins grant, approves road plan

    New funding to improve county roads and a new plan to rank them according to their need for repair moved forward hand-in-hand at Monday’s Parker County Commissioners’ Court meeting.

    April 15, 2014

  • IMG_6890.jpg WC’s new Allied Health Building nears completion

    Construction crews are in high swing as the completion date for Weatherford College’s new Don Allen Allied Health Building nears.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • IMG_6862.jpg Keeping alive the story of Mary Martin

    Mary Martin historian George Dansker gave a heartwarming lecture about the Weatherford-born Broadway actress many didn’t know during a fundraising dinner honoring her 100th birthday Thursday night.

    April 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • Assessing the needs

    For the last few weeks, Weatherford ISD has had some new faces on campuses as engineers and architects of Huckabee & Associates have busily been assessing district facility needs.

    April 12, 2014

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks