Long Beach, New York – City and county SWAT teams responded to a hostage call Tuesday afternoon, but the 911 call turned out to be a horrible prank stemming from a video game, according to multiple reports.
A man called Long Beach Police at around 3 p.m. and reported that "he had shot members of his family and was threatening to kill others," according to CBS.
The call sent officers swarming around the Laurelton Boulevard home, prepared for hostage negotiations.
When police entered the home, however, they found no one was injured and a 17-year-old man playing a video game on the internet.
The call was made to Long Beach authorities by a 17-year-old's opponent who was reportedly angered that he lost a Call of Duty game. The act, which has been coined as "swatting," has become an issue for law enforcement nationwide.
“In this … bizarre world of Swatting, you get points for the helicopter, for the police cars, for the SWAT team, for the type of entry,” LBPD Chief Michael Tangney told CBS.
“It’s very sophisticated," he added. "Unfortunately, it’s very dangerous."
"When they're playing video games, if they lose during the game they try to get information on their opponents," Tangney told WABC, saying "swatting" has become somewhat of an epidemic across the country.
"If they do get the information, they call the police and identify themselves as that person and say that they killed somebody so that the police get this response."
Police are hunting for the sore loser who made the call to police and he could face criminal charges as well as a very large bill for the police resources wasted on the phony emergency.
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