False hostage report sends SWAT team to Sterling home

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published January 25, 2018

The Sterling Heights Police Department is trying to find out who is responsible for making a fraudulent report that deployed a SWAT team to a Sterling Heights resident’s home.

According to the SHPD, a 911 call came in at around 11:10 p.m. Jan. 24. Police said the call claimed that a shooting had happened at a home in the 39000 block of Pinebrook Drive, located north of 17 Mile Road, between Ryan and Dequindre roads.

Police said a male caller claimed on the phone that he was holding his mother and two sisters hostage — with pipe bombs near the victims’ feet — after shooting his father in the head. He reportedly added that he had an AK-47 and sought a ransom of $10,000 in exchange for the hostages’ release.

A Sterling Heights SWAT team reportedly arrived at the scene, but they later determined that the call was a false alarm and was a “swatting” incident that resulted from a social media conflict. Police believe that the caller had intended to target another city address.

“Due to this swatting call, numerous police personnel were called to this incident, which consumed a lot of time and resources that could have been utilized in the city during this incident,” states a release from the Police Department. 

“Furthermore, innocent bystanders are put at risk with a very dangerous situation whenever the police are called to these incidents that appear, at first, to be legitimate.”  

Investigators are trying to find and charge the culprit. Anyone who has information about this incident is encouraged to call the Sterling Heights Police Department at (586) 446-2800.