Press Club

UPDATED: SWAT Team Responds to 911 Call Reporting Hostage Situation, Finds Nothing

(Updated at 10:45 a.m.) Numerous Arlington County Police officers, SWAT team members and the county bomb squad were on the scene of an incident in the Radnor/Fort Myer Heights neighborhood Thursday morning.

Police were spread across several blocks, in the area of several apartment buildings and the Quarterdeck restaurant. Several roads were closed in the area.

A resident described the incident to ARLnow.com as a “possible hostage situation.” Later Thursday morning, police confirmed that they had received a 911 call from an individual falsely claiming to be holding a family hostage.

More from an ACPD press release:

At approximately 6:05 a.m. on August 17, the Emergency Communications Center received an anonymous call from a subject claiming to be holding a family hostage in the 1200 block of Ft. Myer Drive. Due to the elevated level of threat by the caller, the Arlington County Police Emergency Response Team and Arlington County Fire Bomb Squad were deployed. Members of the SWAT Team made contact with the occupants of the residence and during the course of the investigation, it was determined that no crime had occurred. A protective sweep of the residence was conducted with negative results. The all clear was given at approximately 8:48 a.m.

Reporting false information to the police is a crime. The investigation into the identity of the caller is ongoing. Anyone with information related to this investigation should call the Arlington County Police Department at 703-558-2222. Tips can also be provided anonymously to Arlington County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.

The incident may be a case of “swatting,” which is defined as “the action or practice of making a prank call to emergency services in an attempt to bring about the dispatch of a large number of armed police officers to a particular address.”

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story mistakenly identified today’s day of the week as Wednesday instead of Thursday.

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