Crystal City Police car

Crystal City Police are seeking charges against a 29-year-old Crystal City man who allegedly placed a “swatting” call Monday (Sept. 9), claiming a burglary was in progress in the 1200 block of Crystal Heights Road.

Capt. Mike Pruneau said “swatting” is the term used when a person calls 911 with a false crime report in an effort to get police to respond to a home or other location. Often times, the responders include SWAT officers.

Pruneau said dispatchers received the swatting call around 8:30 a.m. The man reportedly told the dispatcher that three suspicious people were entering a house along Crystal Heights. However, the caller did not make a lot of sense, Pruneau added.

Officers responded to the scene and surrounded the house. One detective heard kids playing inside, along with a mother speaking with the children. Officers determined the report was unfounded, Pruneau said.

He said the woman at the house told officers her boyfriend has paranoid schizophrenia and was having a psychotic episode and probably had made the call.

Police identified the boyfriend as a suspect after tracking him and finding him in an alley with a 25-year-old woman, Pruneau said.

He said the man was asked to drop a gun he reportedly had behind his back, and he complied with the order. The suspect also allegedly was found with knives, Pruneau said.

He said the man appeared to be under the influence of methamphetamine and was found with a substance believed to be meth.

Pruneau said the department will seek charges against the man for possession of a controlled substance and felony possession of a handgun because he had previous felony arrests.

However, police will not seek charges against the man for making a false police report because of his mental state and because he reportedly thought he had called 911 about a real crime in progress.

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