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Fake Homicide Report Labeled As “Swatting”

Though the call came in as one of the most serious incidents possible, it was eventually determined to be a ruse.

On Saturday, Jan. 21 just after 4 p.m., Oakdale Police Department officers responded to the 500 block of Criolla Court for the report of a possible homicide. OPD officers, with the assistance of deputies from the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office, responded to the location. Subsequently, officers were able to determine no one was injured. It was also determined that individuals inside the residence were victims of “swatting.”

The concept of “swatting” is similar to a fake 9-1-1 call that can make it appear that the call is coming from a specific address, though in reality it is placed from elsewhere. And in swatting, it’s typically reported as a serious crime in progress, which often results in the deployment of the Special Weapons And Tactics team, the SWAT team.

Oakdale authorities indicated the seriousness of the practice, as it diverts resources on the fake incident. Additionally, the OPD noted, it is a crime to make a false police report for emergency services. Penal Code 148.3 – falsely reporting an emergency is defined as “Anybody who reports, or causes a report to be made, to a city, county, or state department, district, agency, division, commission, or board, that an emergency exists, knowing that the report is false, is guilty of a misdemeanor crime.”

Also, Penal Code 148.3(b) states that anybody who falsely reports an emergency while knowing, or should have reasonably known, that the response to false report would likely cause a great bodily injury or death is guilty of a felony crime punishable by a fine up to $10,000 and jail time.

There were no injuries as a result of the incident and no arrests reported at this time.