State police were called to a home at 28 Brockway Road in Ellington on Friday afternoon after a report of a possible shooting and a man barricaded in his home, which turned out to be false.
State police confirmed that this was a case of "swatting" which is a term that refers to an Internet prank in which a bogus 911 call leads to a SWAT team response.
These phony calls seem like they are becoming a trend as it has happened eight times in the past two months in Connecticut, and state police aren't taking it lightly.
Imagine the family who lives at 28 Brockway Road in Ellington having state police show up at their door around 5:30 p.m. Friday evening and not knowing why.
State police said a prankster called saying there was a domestic disturbance and someone was shot and there were possible hostages. However that was all fake.
"I was stunned," said neighbor Edwin Wareryzek, who added that the neighborhood is typically very quiet.
Ellington is not another town on the list of those hit by hoax 911 calls. These types of prank calls have been happening in seven other towns across Connecticut since early May, like Manchester, Old Saybrook, Westbrook, Greenwich, Willimantic, Milford and Watertown. And the response to the calls is time consuming and costly.
Police said these kinds of false calls can cost between $10,000 and $20,000, if not more, and the state is picking up the tab.
It happened in early May to a former state representative, and now he is pushing for a bill that makes the prankster pay for the cost of the police response.
A similar bill is already in California.
The proposal in Connecticut could be introduced if the governor holds a special session, but lawmakers will likely wait until the next legislative session which starts in January.
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