SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A popular prank landed a 911 caller behind bars.
It happened Sunday morning at the am/pm on 65th Street. Police said the caller reported three armed men in masks robbing the gas station convenient store.
“This is a priority call in our city where a robbery is occurring, people’s lives are possibly in danger, so we had a number of officers thinking that it was a good robbery,” Sgt. Bryce Heinlein with Sac PD said.
Only it was just a hoax.
“Luckily they did come quick in case anything happened, but luckily nothing did,” said Dean Kim, who frequents the store.
It’s called “swatting.” It’s a prank callers make falsely reporting an emergency, and it happens often.
“It’s taking away our resources that are already limited from people that need, or have real emergencies,” Heinlein said.
The prank even took over Hollywood, topping headlines in 2013 after fake 911 calls were made to Justin Timberlake’s house, then a week later at Selena Gomez’. However, the cops who respond are real and in full response mode. Swatting putts emergency personnel in immediate danger.
“Anytime we are responding lights and sirens, it puts the public at risk,” Heinlein said also.
Detectives traced the 911 call back to a 41-year-old David Shadman who was watching the scene unfold from across the street.
“It appears he was just trying to see police response for that sort of crime,” he said.
Investigators say swatting is a serious offense and violators could go to jail.
Shadman was arrested and charged with making a false report.