Gunman search in Rye turns out to be hoax

Police say they may have been a victim

Police say they may have been a victim of "swatting."

RYE - Police in Rye say a hoax may have spurred a search for a possible gunman yesterday.

A police spokesman says authorities received a call at around 5:30 p.m. Sunday about a person who locked themself in a bathroom with a gun at a home in the area of Mead Pond Lane.

Rye police called in additional help from Westchester County police and neighboring departments. The team set up a perimeter, shut down roads and evacuated the family from the home.

Further investigation led detectives to believe it was a case of "swatting," which is a term that refers to an Internet prank or personal vendetta in which a fake 911 call leads to a SWAT team response.

Police say one of the family members was playing an online video game and had some sort of dispute with a fellow gamer. Police believe that person called in the false alarm.

"You can imagine the fear that the family that is the victim of such an incident feels when their house is now surrounded by multiple police agencies and they're removed by a SWAT team," says Rye Police Lt. Scott Craig.

Lt. Craig says it takes quite a bit of legwork to track down the person calling in the false alarm because they can hide behind the Internet. He stresses that this is a serious offense, and police are now vigorously pursuing the case. No arrests have been made.

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