When the clerk said "yes," the caller responded, "Well, let him out!"
Hardy har, har.
"Swatting," is a new prank that can potentially be quite dangerous, according to federal court officials.
It involves the false report of an emergency to entice a response from a SWAT team.
So there you are watching TV; your wife is on the couch next to you, the kids are in bed and the next thing you know a hostage negotiator is trying to call you.
Or something more robust could be in the works, like the image above of SWAT officers from Mansfield (Star-Telegram archives).
“This type of criminal conduct represents a risk to public safety," said Robert E. Casey, Jr., special agent in charge of the FBI in Dallas. "By causing emergency responders to waste precious time and resources in responding to false reports, first responders become unavailable to react to real emergencies.”
Pranksters have used elaborate schemes involving computers and "spoof cards" to complete the gags while concealing their identities.
That's what happened in June 2006 when members of a party line chat group tried to "swat" a family in Alvarado. The gag was intended to harass a member of that family who was in the pranksters' chat group.
One man called police and said he killed family members and that he was holding hostages. He did the same thing a few months later with a call to Fort Worth police, according to court records.
But these weren't local calls.
The pranksters operated outside Texas and made numerous similar calls around the nation.
That got the FBI involved; the callers were caught and have been pleading guilty to federal charges.
"Thus far, injuries resulting from the criminal conduct have been limited to a few individuals," Casey said. "However, it is only a matter of time before serious bodily injury or death to individuals or law enforcement results from this type of conduct."
-- Bill Miller