PORT ST. LUCIE, FLA. (WSVN) – – A SWAT team swarmed a Florida home after receiving alarming calls, but the calls for help were a hoax. Now, a teen who lives miles away in another state is getting a lesson in the law.
The call to St. Lucie County 911 could not have been more serious, like this one on Nov. 17.
“Hello, ma’am. I shot my wife,” said a caller.
Or this one, four days later.
“Hello. I shot my mom with my dad’s gun,” said a caller.
And this one on Nov. 26.
“He said that he was going to the gun safe and shoot up the neighborhood,” said a caller.
Each time the caller said he was at an address in the same Port St. Lucie community. And each time, the calls were fake.
“We wasted a lot of resources and put a lot of people on edge unnecessarily,” Port St. Lucie Police Assistant Chief Richard del Toro said.
Port St. Lucie Police said the calls were made by a 17-year-old in Maryland who was fighting online with a 17-year-old here in Florida.
So the teen in Maryland made the calls to send a large police response to the house.
“If cops come near me, I’m going to shoot them,” the caller said.
And caused lengthy standoffs by threatening more violence.
“She’s not hurt, but I might shoot her in the head, too because she’s annoying,” the caller said.
“These calls take a long time to determine that they’re false,” del Toro said. “It’s not something where you’re going to go run up to the house and see what’s going on. You’re going to take a tactical approach to it.”
And on top of the wasted police officers, there’s the mental impact on the people at the house being targeted. People who had nothing to do with this.
The Maryland teen had the wrong address.
“She doesn’t even live at the address anymore here in Port St. Lucie, so some innocent family here was actually the victim of this call,” Del Toro said.
Victims of an online fight that resulted in a crime.
“This is not the way to deal with something like that, this is, the stakes are very high, it’s definitely not a game,” Del Toro said. “We take these calls very serious. We’re just thankful nobody was hurt in this situation.”
The assistant chief said this is a chance for parents to remind their children that these type of calls are taken very seriously, and could end in their arrest.
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