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Covington ‘swatting’ hoax arose from son’s video game squabble, father says

“Ten minutes later, we have officers outside of our house with assault rifles.”
Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 11:11 PM EDT
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COVINGTON, Ky. (WXIX) - Police and a SWAT team surrounded a Covington home on Saturday after getting a disturbing 911 call about a shooting.

The call came in saying a man had shot his wife in the head and was going to shoot police officers at the scene.

Police arrived at the house on Jefferson Avenue just after 11 p.m., and soon a family was placed in handcuffs.

Only one problem: It was all a hoax, according to the family involved.

“All of a sudden, my oldest son comes yelling, ‘They have pops out in handcuffs on his knees,’” said the homeowner, who did not wish to be identified.

Nobody was injured during the incident.

The man says he later learned his family was the victim of “swatting,” which is when someone calls 911 to report a fake emergency prompting a police response, usually involving a SWAT team.

“My 17-year-old son was playing video games and got into an argument with someone,” the man said. “Ten minutes later, we have officers outside of our house with assault rifles.”

The man says it took them and police a while to figure out what had happened.

He says he’s still alarmed that even after police learned the call was fake, they continued to search his home for nearly an hour.

Now he has a message for other gamers.

“There’s an off switch,” he said. “If it gets to a point where you get upset, turn it off. There is no need to risk someone’s life.”

Covington police say the incident remains under investigation.

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