February 23 2018
FOREST GROVE, Oregon - At approximately 6:10 pm this date, officers with the Forest Grove Police Department along with deputies from the Washington County Sheriff's Office responded to a report that a woman had been shot in the 3300 block of Main Street. Information received in the call included that the suspect had barricaded himself in a room with the victim. Police units arrived at the address and began shutting down streets in the area. Police made contact with the occupants of the home who were fully cooperative and stated no such incident had occurred.
During the investigation, the homeowner shared with police that he was an avid online gamer and this was not his first experience with hoax requiring an emergency response. The resident shared that approximately two years prior, a prank call of a gas leak in his home was made resulting in a fire department response. The resident suspects someone in the online gaming community in both incidents.
"Swatting" is a term describing a false call made to emergency services of an ongoing critical incident and derives from the specialized type of police units and equipment that often respond to such incidents. These incidents have become fads in the gaming community where players livestream game play and are watched by other gamers that phone in the false reports.
Calling in a false report of this nature are costly, can exhaust resources for hours and pulls emergency services away from legitimate calls for assistance. They can cause panic and duress for homeowners and neighbors. "Swatting" incidents can place officers and the general public at risk. Making false reports of this nature can result in serious charges, including but not limited to, Improper use of Emergency Reporting System and Initiating a False Report.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Forest Grove Police at 503.992.3260.