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SWAT Responds To Hoax Call In White Pine Canyon

Summit County Sheriff's Office

A SWAT team was called to a White Pine Canyon home Saturday night after a hoax call from California led law enforcement to believe a violent crime was taking place at the home.

Summit County dispatch received the call on Saturday night from a man claiming he had shot his wife with an AR-15 and that he was holding children hostage in a home in White Pine Canyon. Summit County Sheriff Justin Martinez said A SWAT team came to the house and found it was vacant.

“We were able to do a phone track and the track came back to California. We were able to get ahold of the homeowner who was not home, said nobody was there. When we have that information and dispatch said they even heard gun shots in the background. We responded appropriately but as we did the investigation and determined that the phone call was in California, the people weren’t at home we still cleared the residences, but those types of situations do disturb our operational readiness.”

Sheriff Martinez explains that the hoax, called swatting, can be motivated as an illegal prank or for an opportunity to commit crimes.

“It’s a hoax. It’s a prank call. They do this, and it’s across the nation and they call it swatting, in an attempt to disrupt services as SWAT teams get called out. Some people are just being jerks. They like to see SWAT teams respond for no good reason. Then there’s the other aspect where those individuals will disrupt our operational tempo and then commit other crimes because we are tied up on an incident. So, we have to be very cautious in how we respond to situations like that.”

KPCW reporter David Boyle covers all things in the Heber Valley as well as sports and breaking news.
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