Police, FBI Investigate Hoax 911 Calls in Westchester

Heavily armed police officers and SWAT teams were dispatched to nonexistent emergencies

By Pei-Sze Cheng
|  Thursday, Jul 5, 2012  |  Updated 11:03 AM EDT
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Police in Westchester and the FBI are investigating a series of hoax calls that drew heavy police response to non-existent emergencies over the past week, authorities said.  News 4's Pei-Sze Cheng reports.

NBC 4 New York

Police in Westchester and the FBI are investigating a series of hoax calls that drew heavy police response to non-existent emergencies over the past week, authorities said. News 4's Pei-Sze Cheng reports.

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Police in Westchester and the FBI are investigating a series of hoax calls that drew heavy police response to nonexistent emergencies over the past week, authorities said.

A 14-year-old Rye boy was charged with making a false report, but police believe more people are involved in the hoax calls and may potentially involve a hacking group.

The boy is accused only in a June 27 incident, when police received a 911 call through a typed message using a service for the hearing impaired. 

The message stated, "I'm under my brother's bed hiding from three heavily armored men. I believe they have a very big shotgun. It's big and very, very loud."

It went on to say, "They're barricading us in, and I can't find my little brother. Please, my little sister is having trouble breathing. She's only four." 

Armed police officers arrived at the reported address to find a woman, her teenage son and two friends. There was no emergency. 

Rye police are investigating three more hoax calls, dubbed "swatting" because they're meant to draw heavy police response, including from the SWAT team. 

Neighbors were upset to learn their local police were distracted by false calls.

"I know a lot of the policemen here, if you call them, they're here in a minute," said Rye neighbor Martha Young. "For them to be taken away for something like this... I felt very bad about it." 

Police say by answering the bogus calls, they run the risk of diverting resources from real emergencies.

"When an officer responds to a scene like that, and has some conceptions of what he might be facing, and if a resident responds with what's perceived as a threatening gesture, you could have some tragic consequences," said Rye Police Commissioner William Conners.

The FBI is assisting Rye police with their investigation. 

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