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NCSO responds to ‘swatting’ call

NEWTON COUNTY — On Monday, Sept. 25 at around 1:30 p.m., Newton County deputies received a call from a complainant. The complainant said someone was shot and the suspect was still armed and dangerous. 

When deputies arrived at the scene of the incident, they discovered the call for service was a “swatting call.” 

In an email to The Covington News, Newton County Sheriff’s Office’s (NCSO) communications officer Caitlin Jett explained what a “swatting” call is. 

“The term ‘swatting’ refers to someone who places a false emergency call for service, where the nature of the call causes a large police presence,” Jett said. “Most often, the purpose of ‘swatting’ is to video record the incident. The practice of ‘swatting’ is extremely dangerous and puts not only the community but law enforcement officers in harm’s way.” 

There is no danger to the public at this time, according to NCSO’s statement. The resident of the “supposed incident address” was not aware of the call to NCSO and the number used to place the call for service is now disconnected. 

All NCSO units have since returned to service, NCSO’s statement said. 

“Sheriff Ezell Brown has taken this matter very seriously, and anyone who is found to be responsible for such calls will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” NCSO’s statement said.