LEXINGTON, S.C. (WIS) - A 12-year-old boy has been charged with unlawful use of 911 in connection with a series of “swatting” calls that were made in a Lexington neighborhood.
Swatting is the act of calling the police and falsely reporting a critical incident at a location that leads to emergency response by law enforcement.
The incidents took place between December 12, 2020 and December 14, 2020.
Officers with the Lexington Police Department were dispatched to six critical incident calls that were said to be happening at residences within the Vintner’s Wood neighborhood.
Some of the emergency calls referenced a man was standing in a yard with a weapon at a child’s bedroom window, that a man was holding a family hostage with weapons and explosives, that there was a bomb threat at a home with hostages, and a domestic dispute involving weapons and hostages.
It was later determined that the phone calls were made from a residence within the Vintner’s Wood neighborhood by a juvenile caller.
On January 6, police executed a search warrant on the home confiscating all mobile and electronic devices.
Deputies found videos that were taken of Lexington Police Department officers responding to the swatting call incidents.
“What may have seemed like a game to this child clearly wasn’t as our officers responded to these incidents as if they were really occurring. We appreciate the patience and understanding of this neighborhood, and those involved in these incidents, as detectives worked through this investigation to its conclusion”, Lexington Police Chief Terrence Green said. “Parents, please have conversations with your children so that they understand the responsibility and possible consequences for the things that they do on their mobile devices.”
These cases will be prosecuted by the Juvenile Court of the 11th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.