York police have laid charges against a 17-year-old male for several “swatting” incidents in Vaughan including one where the 9-1-1 caller allegedly threatened to shoot at officers.
Swatting is defined as when someone calls 9-1-1 and tricks a police service into sending emergency responders to a location based on a false report.
Police say the incidents happened between Nov. 20, 2020 and Jan. 13, 2021. The first call was to Tommy Douglas Secondary School in Vaughan for a report of a male walking inside a school with a gun. The next call happened on Nov. 28 when police were called to a home on Via Borghese after the 9-1-1 caller said a neighbour had shot his cat and dog.
The next two 9-1-1 calls were to another home on Via Borghese, one which was a report of gunshots after seeing a male and female arguing. In the final call, the caller said he had shot his mother and if police responded, he would shoot at them.
All four incidents were determined to be hoaxes.
After a lengthy investigation, a 17-year-old male in Vaughan was charged with four counts of public mischief and mischief – interfere with lawful use of property.
York police say these fake calls use a lot of resources, but can also be traumatic to those involved, “from the innocent residents dealing with the high-risk police response, the 9-1-1 call taker hearing reports of potential homicides, to frontline officers who believe they are responding to an active shooter call.”