Sen. Schumer calls for crackdown on 'swatting' incidents

United States Sen. Chuck Schumer says that 'swatting' incidents are on the rise across the Hudson Valley and is now calling for a federal crackdown on the costly hoaxes.

Swatting involves people calling their local police departments with phony threats, such as bombs or hostage situations.

Schumer is pushing for a new federal bill that would increase the jail time for offenders from five to eight years, and force them to pay restitution to police.

News 12 reported a situation in Eastchester in early April, when seven police departments, a SWAT team and a county helicopter swarmed to the scene of reported hostage situation on Joyce Road. The incident turned out to be a hoax, and cost nearly $25,000, according to Eastchester Police Chief Timothy Bonci.

Earlier this month in Putnam County, another swatting incident sent public schools into lockdown when police rushed to a Garrison home where they were told a mother and her son were being held at gunpoint.

The senator says the bill would also criminalize the act of calling 911 with a disguised caller ID.

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