BEND, OR -- Police agencies across the country continue to respond to hoax calls, known as “SWATting." That’s when a false report leads to a large law enforcement response. Bend Police is no exception. Investigations continue in to two recent "SWATting" incidents. The first involved a reported hostage situation at Sal’s Barber Shop on South Highway 97, June fourth. Deputy Police Chief Paul Kansky says the second occurred the following day at Bend High, "That call was of a bomb threat, which is – really, when Swatting or these hoaxings started, bomb threats were very common; that was one of the common themes. In that case, the people that were left at the school had to be evacuated, so it caused quite a disturbance, and again a lot of police resources that had to respond to that."
Those two recent incidents now make three in the past six months, "One from December, we never solved; that’s still an open case. Sometimes, without solving them, we don’t know if it’s truly just ‘a thrill’ thing or if there was some other motive, to damage a business or whatnot," says Kansky. "The current ones are very recent and still under investigation."
Kansky tells KBND News, determining the motive can help lead investigators to a suspect or suspects. There are typically two reasons why someone calls in a hoax, "One of them is to – just the thrill, I guess, of deceiving law enforcement. A little bit of that has been connected to trying to get that on video, whether it’s the news or some live stream. And then, we’ve also seen where it’s a personal vendetta or personal extortion, if you will, some sort of thing where they’re trying to get something from somebody." Suspects could face local and federal charges, if caught.