Police: Swatting call that caused massive response at Suffern home traced to Florida teen

The hoax call seems to have been made by a 15-year-old in the state of Florida, according to police.

News 12 Staff

Aug 4, 2023, 7:13 PM

Updated 259 days ago

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The source of Thursday’s swatting incident in Suffern has been traced to a teen who doesn’t live in New York, police say.
The hoax call seems to have been made by a 15-year-old in the state of Florida, according to police.
Officials said on Thursday that the person responsible could face state and federal charges. Authorities are now figuring out next steps because of his age and location are factors. 
“We’re conferring with the district attorney’s office and the FBI to see if criminal charges are appropriate,” says Suffern Police Chief Andrew Loughlin. “And if not, if there’s some type of juvenile program in the state of Florida that he can be referred to.”
Thursday’s swatting incident led to a police presence outside of about 50 officers at the Suffern home that lasted for nearly three hours on Lexington Avenue.
News 12 is told police received a call around 2 p.m. claiming a person shot his brother and that they would shoot any police officer who responded.
"You saw a whole bunch of armed men in green coming across the road altogether, maybe 10 or more, with guns out,” says resident Katrina Morrison.
Police, bomb squad and SWAT teams responded to the home on Lexington Avenue and located two people who had no idea about the situation.
"They were just victims of someone else's bad joke, which is a serious bad joke,” says Suffern Mayor Michael Curley.
SWAT teams searched the home and determined there was no threat. Police determined it was a hoax known as swatting, which is when someone makes a prank call to draw a large police presence to a particular address.
"It's a dangerous situation. You scared this whole neighborhood,” says Curley.
Loughlin issued a warning to those thinking of making similar fake emergency calls.
“There have been other swatting incidents throughout the country where people were injured,” he says. “It’s not a game, it’s not a joke, it’s extremely dangerous and there are consequences for it.”


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