Eastchester hostage situation deemed a hoax

A hoax call about a hostage situation at an Eastchester home put the town in a frenzy Saturday.



Police and the SWAT team swarmed a house at 1 Joyce Road, and a helicopter circled overhead for nearly three hours, residents say.



The massive police response was sparked by an anonymous caller telling officers that he had stabbed his girlfriend and had his family tied up in the home.



Neighbors watched anxiously as police tried to talk to the people inside the home. What police did not know was that the home was empty at the time.



Neighbors say they walked over to police to try to get some answers, but police asked them to return to their homes.



Hours later, police searched the house and declared the standoff an "unfounded event." These types of pranks are also referred to as swatting, where callers pretend there is an emergency to prompt a large police response.



"It's just a shame," said one neighbor. "The resources are being spent, and people can get hurt and all for a hoax. It's just crazy."



Eastchester Police Chief Timothy Bonci says the pricey prank cost his department nearly $100,000.


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