HERCULES (KRON) — A Hercules family described the terrifying moments when heavily armed police ordered them to come out of their home at gunpoint.
That family was victims of what’s called “swatting.”
It’s a dangerous prank where someone calls 911 and falsely reports a hostage situation at a random address.
The prank is all designed to get SWAT teams to storm a house of unsuspecting people.
On Friday, KRON4 met with the family this happened to and shares their warning.
“We still don’t know who did this…or why, and until we know who did this, we don’t want to put our faces out there,” said one of the family members who did not want to be identified.
This family of six that lived through a terrible “swatting” ordeal on Dec. 27 does not want their identity revealed.
But they want their story known including where it happened, on the 3700 block of North Front Street in Hercules.
“Really just confused,” one family member said. “It’s midnight on a Wednesday. You know, we have children sleeping, quiet neighborhood, PA system announcing our address and having everyone come out with their hands up. It was dark, a lot of rifles pointed in my direction.”
This family was a victim of “swatting,” a prank where someone calls 911 and reported a hostage situation going on at a particular address.
The goal of the prank is to get swat teams to rush a house containing unknowing innocent people.
Hercules police say they received a 911 call with a voice of a young male saying he was hiding in his room, and he heard gunshots and his mother scream.
He then said, “They’re coming.”
Then, on the 911 call, a scream was heard before the hangup.
Dispatch was unable to re-establish contact with the caller.
Police officers from Hercules and Pinole went to the address given by the 911 caller, made everyone come out, searched the house, and cleared the scene.
“I have an 11-year old son, and he had to come out slowly with rifles pointed in his face,” one family member said.
The family says the incident has traumatized them.
“The whole swatting thing is not funny,” one family member said. “It messes with people’s lives. My kids will forever remember that day they could have had their head blown off.”
This family wants all Bay Area families to know this can happen to them, and if it does, be careful how you react because the situation can be tense and unpredictable.
“What if I had tripped?” a family member said. “I was holding a heavy 40-pound, 4-year-old in my arms. I was shaking. What if my arm slipped? Would have they have shot me or my son? I don’t like to think about what ifs, but you have to with society today and all these cases going on.”
The Hercules Police Department is investigating this fake swatting call trying to track down the person behind it.
They have also warned other Bay Area police departments about the swatting and to be on guard.
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