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False 911 call frustrates Fairburn neighbors, police | News

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False 911 call frustrates Fairburn neighbors, police

FAIRBURN, Ga. — Fairburn police are searching for the suspect that sent them and several other law enforcement agencies on a bogus call.

It is an occurrence called "swatting."

Around 9:30 Saturday night someone called 911 multiple times claiming to have killed a child, and said they were holding several people hostage.

Chuckie Williams says he has no idea why someone would report a false crime at his home.

"I stepped outside and the police told me that somebody was holding somebody hostage in here, and they put me in a police car," he said.

Fairburn Police got several calls to his home on Clay Street even as they responded to the situation. 

"They went inside the apartment and found wasn't nobody in there," said Williams.

Officers busted through his front door and shattered several windows responding to what they thought was a dangerous situation.

"It was all for nothing," said Lt. Anthony Bazydlo. 

The Fairburn Police Department had to call in assistance from several nearby law enforcement agencies to respond to the fake emergency, including a SWAT team.

Families in the area were evacuated and the street shut down for hours.

"(It) May not even describe it fully – the word frustrating – because first of all, all these residents in the area, many of them had to be evacuated from their homes and kept in a safe location while this was going on," Bazydlo said.

After discovering no one was injured, and the calls were not true, investigators have turned their attention to finding out who is behind this waste of resources.

But this is not the first time a metro police agency has had to deal with a swatting call.

In 2014, Johns Creek Police responded to a phony call with claims of hostages, shocking a woman and children inside the home.

This year, State Rep. Brad Raffensberger even introduced legislation to increase penalties and begin tracking some falsely reported crimes – something that could prevent frightening situation like the one Williams and his neighbors found themselves in this weekend. 

"I think it's sad. You should have more responsibility not to do that," Williams said.