The Hoboken Police Department has issued a warning about the dangers of swatting after a shooting call last night turned out to be a hoax.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Yesterday, the Hoboken Police Department responded to what was later determined to be a swatting incident on Grand Street between First and Newark Streets, noted public safety spokeswoman Marci Rubin.
At approximately 6:25 p.m. dispatchers received a call from someone claiming to have shot another individual inside the building.
All Hoboken police units on duty, along with the Hoboken Fire Department, Hoboken EMS, and Stevens Police Department immediately responded to the area, closing Grand Street between Newark and First Streets to the public.
Police Officers Christopher Barral, Ramon Estrella, Rose Kanan, and Ricky Truppner, under the supervision of Sgt. Francis “Duke” McCourt entered the building and quickly determined the call to be a hoax.
Officers searched the building, unit by unit, explaining the situation to all residents, before clearing the scene. The Hoboken PD thanks all members of the public for their patience and cooperation during the initial response and investigation.
“While no member of the public was ever in danger, and no injuries were reported, this type of fraudulent call is serious, and it is dangerous,” Rubin stated.
“Swatting, which has become more prevalent across the country, is the deliberate and malicious act of reporting a false crime or emergency with the intention of evoking an aggressive law enforcement response to another person’s address in an attempt to harass or intimidate that person. Swatting puts law enforcement in danger as well as the public, by taking first responders away from actual emergencies.”
The Hoboken Police Department continues to investigate last night’s incident and asks anyone with information to contact Det. Ryan Houghton at 201-420-2100.
Anyone found guilty of causing a false public alarm faces up to five years in jail. If anyone is injured during a swatting incident, defendants can face charges for that as well.
A YouTube/Twitch streamer who goes by the name “Swiftor” and has over three million followers said on a Reddit thread that he was the one swatted by “scummy internet kids.”
“Hi, just some scummy internet kids who “swatted” me. They called in a fake situation. Hopefully they catch the scum bags – got a bunch of leads to share with em,” he wrote.