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UPDATE: False report leads to FBI investigation

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Hays Police say the Feb. 26 phone call about guns and hostages in a home was a hoax.

At 5:14 p.m. Feb. 26, the Hays Police Department was dispatched to a reported disturbance at a house in the 2500 block of Pine Street. The caller, the Hays Police Department said Friday in a news release, claimed to be a child inside the house. The caller reported that seven people with guns had entered the residence and struck his father on the head.

Officers responded to the area and set up a perimeter in an effort to contain the threat.

Contact with a resident inside the house was made and it was determined to be a false report. Further investigation showed the call had been “spoofed” and that there was not a home invasion taking place as the call had indicated.

At this time, authorities believe this is an incident of “swatting.”

“Swatting” is a crime where an unknown person calls the police reporting a fake emergency that draws a high level response from law enforcement, including SWAT teams. The individuals who engage in this activity use technology to make it appear that the emergency call is coming from the victim’s phone. Sometimes swatting is done for revenge, sometimes as a prank.

Either way, it is a serious crime, and one that has potentially dangerous consequences.

Most people involved in such prank calls are also involved in other criminal activity, such as identity theft and other computer-related crimes. Suspects of swatting could face federal criminal charges and some past cases have resulted in prison terms of 11 years.

This incident is being investigated by the Ellis County High Technology Crime Unit, with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

• Submitted by Hays Police Chief Don Scheibler

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  • toby

    Ellis County High Tec Crime Unit now thats funny

    • guest

      You’re a clueless idiot..

  • Lmao Tse Tongue

    Pretty certain Ellis Co. will be the ones doing the assisting here.

  • jumpinjay

    Ellis county High Tech Crime Unit. daily meeting at daylight doughnut shop along with morning visits from our ellis county fire chief. as they say on the commercial: priceless

  • Help yourself no one else will

    Here’s what concerns me and i know im commenting on limited information here. But I always assumed not that I ever gave much thought to it but if armed people were in my house trying to assault or potentially kill me or my family(wife and two kids)that the Police would respond and immediately try and eliminate the threat, confront the gunman, and take them in to custody or use whatever force necessary to control the situation. Or at least confirm or assess, the situation for what it was.
    I know this isnt a school but what if this situation was real and was a school and there was a gunman simply surrounding the building isnt good enough in my book. To serve and protect and to be a Police Officer I would think that would be an inherent risk starting on the first day of the Job.
    I get it no one want to have a come to Jesus moment or be in harms way or even to take unnecessary risks but when you pay for Police protection you would think that if someone was trying to actively harm or kill you that the Police would make every effort to intervene and confront the shooter or aggressor whatever may be the case immediately while it still counted.
    I know i don’t live in a school but I have schoolchildren in my house two of them.
    If the gunman called in with ransom demands I could see this kind of response but when its an active threat situation or in progress this doesn’t make sense to me.
    Just to let you know if this were a real situation and at my house you have my permission to come in a do whatever you want to help alleviate the threat in fact I almost expect that from the Police.
    I dont own a gun I dont even like guns there dangerous for the owner for kids thers lots of reasons. But even a fake situation like this makes me think why not. Because when it comes down to it and your familys life is on the line there is no one that is going to give you the help you would desperately need while it still mattered. Not even the Police.
    I just realized im on the wrong side of the gun debate and everyone thinking this world needs more guns isn’t as extreme as Ive always thought. It obviously falls squarly on my shoulders to protect my family from even remote threats similar to this.