Domestic violence report prompts SWAT team, turns out to be a hoax
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Wednesday was a morning one Louisville man will never forget.
Matt Mercurio was in the shower Wednesday morning getting ready for work when he heard someone on a bullhorn telling him to get out of his home. He said he thought he was hearing things. When he looked out his back window, he knew he wasn't imagining things.
About a dozen police officers with guns and a SWAT team were surrounding his home on Waltlee Road around 9:30 Wednesday morning.
SWAT officials said MetroSafe got a call alleging a domestic violence incident. Mercurio said police told him there was a person and child reportedly killed inside his home.
Mercurio said he was in complete shock because he lives alone with his dogs. Mercurio cooperated with police and allowed them to search his home. Meanwhile, he was placed in handcuffs for about 20 mins.
Police cleared the home and believe this to be a "swatting" incident. Swatting is the harassment tactic of deceiving an emergency service into sending a police and emergency service response team to another person's address. This is triggered by false reporting of a serious law enforcement emergency, such as a bomb threat, murder, hostage situation or other alleged incident.
Mercurio said officers asked him if he plays video games, Mercurio said he does not. Police said swatting is often an online gaming prank.
Police said they are looking into who placed the prank call.
Mercurio said it's sad that someone played a prank and wasted police officers valuable time.
Police said swatting is illegal and can carry hefty charges.
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