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Paso Robles police, other California departments, receive ‘swatting’ call

paso robles police
Posted at 8:58 PM, May 10, 2023

The Paso Robles Police Department received a call on Wednesday about an active shooter at a local resort that turned out to be fake, the department said in a press release, what’s known as “swatting.”

The department received a single call of an active shooter at Allegretto Vineyard Resort around 2:39 p.m. on Wednesday, police said. The information provided by the caller — as well as the caller’s number being based out of New Mexico — indicated to officers that the threat was likely not legitimate, police said.

Officers responded to the resort to ensure there was no active threat. No active-shooter threat was present.

The police department said shortly after receiving the hoax call, other police departments in California began reporting similar “swatting” calls, including departments in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Santa Barbara, Los Gatos, Lompoc, Santa Maria and Pismo Beach, among others.

All of the fake active shooter calls were reported to be at hotels or resorts in the respective jurisdictions, police said.

Callers attempting to deceive first responders into responding to a fake incident has been around for decades. But the specific term “swatting” — where a caller creates a fake incident hoping to draw a SWAT team response — was coined by the FBI in 2008. The number of swatting incidents has dramatically increased in recent years, according to reporting by NPR, prompting calls from significant congressional figures for action to be taken, including Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

The Paso Robles Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in the ongoing investigation. If you have information, call the department at (805) 237-6464.