WATERVILLE, OH (WTOL) - Waterville police are warning people in their area about swatting after a call Thursday morning.
Swatting is making a hoax call to 911 with the intent of getting a SWAT team to respond. The criminals behind these calls usually use technology to make it appear the emergency call is coming from the victim's phone.
It's a terrible crime, and unfortunately one that's happening all over the country, including here in Northwest Ohio.
On Thursday, police responded to a frantic call in Baer Park about a man wearing fatigues, carrying a backpack and a hand gun.
When officers got there, they found a 10-year-old boy playing with friends. The "gun" was a plastic toy; No weapons were found.
Police in Waterville say some "swatters" will make a frantic call to police and wait with a nearby camera, hoping to catch officers overreacting.
In this case, the officers did not over react and the matter was quickly handled. No one was ever in any danger.
Chief David LaGrange says it was an honest mistake he did not want to turn into more once rumors started flying, and text messages about that 911 call started hitting residents phones.
"Shortly after this I got that text message of an armed person in the park. That is going to scare people. They start talking and wondering and the story gets better and better as it goes on. So if they have a source they can go to they know the Facebook page is there they can go to the Facebook page, more then likely they will find some information at least they know what the facts are and what really is going on," said Chief LaGrange.
The chief says he doesn't want people to not call 911 if they see something suspicious, but he feels being honest and open with residents, even on Facebook, can help keep Waterville safe.