False Alarm: Hostage, SWAT situation in Wickliffe

False Alarm: Hostage, SWAT situation in Wickliffe

WICKLIFFE, OH (WOIO) - Wickliffe police received a call Thursday afternoon from a man who said he was holding a 9-year-old child hostage at an apartment in the 1500 block of Rush Road. The caller claimed to be armed with a rifle and on drugs. He made demands that he wanted police to fulfill or said he would shoot the child.

The voice of a small child could be heard in the call. The caller claimed to be armed with a rifle, and stayed on the phone with police for a while.

Officers, the Western Lake County SWAT Team and crisis negotiators respond to the scene.

As the situation unfolded police found out the caller was not in the apartment but was calling from another location as a hoax. Patrol and swat officers made contact with the tenant of the apartment in question and it was determined that he was completely unaware of the incident and had been communicating online with other people.

According to police these types of hoaxes are growing increasingly common and are sometimes referred to as "swatting" incidents, in that they often generate a swat response.

Detectives have begun investigating to trace the origin of the call and the matter remains under investigation.

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