Old Town

SWAT Standoff Ends in Old Town After Police Learn Call Was Phony

A photo shows West Division Street in Chicago during a SWAT situation, with a white and blue police SUV and red crime scene tape
Chris Hush

A SWAT team standoff in Old Town ended Wednesday afternoon after police learned the initial call to 911 was phony.

Officers were initially called around 1:30 p.m. to the 200 block of West Division Street, Chicago police said.

Shortly after 4 p.m., a man who lived in the residence arrived at the scene and walked over to police.

Officers immediately cuffed him then released him and followed him into the building.

By 4:30 p.m. investigators determined the initial call to police was unfounded. No one was in custody.

The man, who asked not to be named, told the Chicago Sun-Times that his “phone was hacked” and used to make the phony call.

“It was a false alarm, everything’s fine,” he said.

The man said officers were returning to his home later to help him file his own report.

The incident may be a case of “swatting,” in which someone files a false report aimed at drawing a large police response. “Swatting” calls can have dangerous consequences, with some ending in fatal police shootings. In 2017, a Kanas gamer’s online feud with another player lead to a fake call and the deadly police shooting of an innocent 28-year-old man.

A 2018 “swatting” incident shut down Northwestern University’s suburban Evanston campus. A person said he had shot his girlfriend inside an apartment at Englehart Hall, drawing a massive police presence and prompting a lockdown.

No one was hurt and police later traced the call was traced to an area southeast of Rockford.

Copyright CHIST - SunTimes
Contact Us