DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. -- Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to police banging on your door, saying they've been called to investigate a supposed threat at your home.
The threat, they say, is you.
It happened to one Douglasville woman, making her one of the latest victims of a "SWAT-ing" hoax. A person will call 911 to report a bogus crime, prompting police and sometimes a SWAT team to report to the address. The caller pretends to live in the home, but actually is sending officers to another address.
When officers arrive, they are usually met by a very confused homeowner.
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11Alive's Blayne Alexander spoke to a woman who says it happened to her last April. She asked for her identity to be concealed because police still do not know who placed the call.
The caller posed as the victim's teenage son and reported a "domestic dispute" between his parents: his mother was holding his father at gunpoint.
Instead of 911, the caller reached Douglas County Sheriff's Office directly. On the recording, he can be heard playing the convincing role of a frightened 13-year-old. He recites factual information: mother's and son's full names, phone numbers and address.
"Why is your mom holding him hostage?" the dispatcher asked.
"Because he came home drunk," the caller replied. "They're downstairs in the kitchen; I'm upstairs in the closet. I'm scared."
At one point, he even pretended to be the father calling for help.
The woman told us she is not married and lives in the house with her two sons. She did not hear officers knocking at her door, so the dispatcher had to call and awaken her. When she opened the front door, officers told her to put her hands up and get on her knees. Once they realized she wasn't armed, they went inside to find her son, who allegedly made the call.
"Someone is going to get killed [if the pranks continue]," the victim said. "Just the way I walked out with my cell phone, they could have easily thought that was my gun and shot me.
Douglas County Sheriff's Office Lt. James Harrell said the suspect placed the call via Skype, making it difficult to trace. Investigators believe the caller knows the woman's son. Once captured, he faces a misdemeanor charge of unlawful conduct during a 911 call.