Conn. SWAT responds to hoax 'swatting' call
A report of gunfire and screams from a home on Deer Run Trail Monday that prompted a heavy police response turned out to be bogus
By Christine Dempsey and David Owens
The Hartford Courant
MANCHESTER, Conn. — A report of gunfire and screams from a home on Deer Run Trail Monday that prompted a heavy police response turned out to be bogus, police said.
Officers responded to the home shortly after 2:10 p.m. and made contact with a person inside the house, David Henderson, who was home with the flu.
The report from a male caller was a hoax and likely related to similar phony calls for police assistance elsewhere, Capt. Chris Davis said. The practice is meant to elicit a response by tactical team officers.
Henderson said he noticed something was up when his dog started barking. He then noticed police arriving and emailed a friend, "There are two cops with guns in my yard," he said.
Henderson said police ordered him out of his home. He walked out, wearing a bathrobe, and got on the ground as told. Police then handcuffed him, he said.
They released him when they realized there was no danger. Officers told him it appeared he had been the subject of a hoax call.
"They were apologetic," he said.
Lake Street School in Vernon was briefly locked down as a result of the incident, but the lockdown was lifted and school dismissedfor the day. Vernon police were at the school to assist with the dismissal.
No injuries were reported and police said they'll continue to investigate.
Lt. Jeffrey Lampson said such "unnecessary, senseless pranks" could lead to a real emergency because police rush to such scenes.
"There's always the heightened risk of accidents," he said.
Copyright 2014 The Hartford Courant