Douglas Sheriff's Office investigating emergency call hoax

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ZEPHYR COVE, NV (KOLO) - The Douglas County Sheriff's Office is investigating a hoax call that made deputies and SWAT temporarily unavailable.

About 6:43AM, Thursday April 18, 2019, Douglas County 911 dispatch got a call for help from the Live Violence Free crisis hotline center. The person who called dispatch reported getting a call from someone identifying herself as a 13-year-old girl in full-term pregnancy who believed she was in labor and had been raped by her father. She said she was at a home in the 500 block of U.S. Highway 50 in Zephyr Cove.

As the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District arrived, the caller, still relaying information through the hotline, said her father had a weapon, knew law enforcement was there, and was refusing to open the door. The girl then reported her father would shoot law enforcement personnel if they went into the home, and was pointing the weapon at her.

Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team, the Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT), and Drone Unit responded. They went into the home and found no one.

Upon further investigation, investigators says this incident was determined to be a hoax, commonly known as “Swatting”, which is the "action or practice of making a prank call to emergency services in an attempt to bring about the dispatch of a large number of armed police officers to a particular address. This practice in unlawful and very dangerous to all persons involved, and ties up and/or delays emergency response personnel from responding to other calls for service and emergencies."

DCSO reports it will conduct a follow-up investigation and pursue criminal charges.

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