Police believe hostage threat was a hoax, investigation continues

UPDATED FRIDAY 2:45 P.M. — Greenwich police are investigating what now appears to be a hoax call about a hostage situation Thursday night in the background.

Police closed off a block in the 600 section of Round Hill Road, a wealthy backcountry neighborhood, after receiving a call Thursday night from someone claiming to have taken hostages. GPD Capt. Robert Berry said Friday morning that the call came in to police dispatch at approximately 7:59 P.M. on Thursday night and that the caller said they had a weapon and “several” hostages.

Capt. Berry said police then responded to the area and set up a perimeter, closing the portion of the street to through traffic, as attempts were made to contact the residents. But when this happened Capt. Berry said that no one responded at the house or at the phone number from which the original call was made. Contact was eventually made with some of the people living in the house, who were not there, but not all could be located.

Police then made the decision to enter the house and when they did Capt. Berry said no one was found inside.

“At this time we do not believe there was any actual hostage situation,” Capt. Berry said, adding that the investigation was ongoing.  He said no injuries were reported and that there is no reason to believe there is any threat to the community.

Police cleared the area after 11 p.m. on Thursday night.

No details were released about the caller and on Friday, GPD Public Information Officer Lt. Kraig Gray said that based on “all the available facts” police were treating this as a hoax with the perpetrator unknown. He noted that there has been a national trend recently of people misusing police resources by calling in hoax emergency calls, something which is known as “swatting” since it typically calls for SWAT resources or tactical teams to be used.

“The individuals who engage in this activity use technology to make it appear that the emergency call is coming from the victim’s phone,” Lt. Gray said. “Sometimes swatting is done for revenge, other times as a prank. The FBI believes that most who engage in swatting are serial offenders who are also involved in other cyber-crimes such as identity theft and credit card fraud, exploiting the inherent anonymity of the Internet, plus the ready availability of technology to mask their identity. Hoax calls or making false reports to law enforcement are serious crimes which are frightening to the target and surrounding community, cause an unnecessary drain on resources and potentially puts lives in danger.”

Lt. Gray called this a “very serious incident” and said the investigation was continuing to attempt to identify its perpetrators.”

The Post will have more details as they become available.

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© Hersam Acorn. All rights reserved. The Greenwich Post, 10 Corbin Drive, Floor 3, Darien, CT 06820

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress