San Diego

Domino's Pizza Gets Fake Hostage Message, Police Swarm Sherman Heights Home

After interviewing the residents, it became clear none knew about the hostage message

A fake hostage message to a pizza place prompted police to surround a home in Sherman Heights in what may be a possible case of "swatting," San Diego police said. 

A Domino's Pizza employee called 911 at about midnight after receiving a strange message through their mobile ordering app that said a person was being held hostage at a home near 24th and Market Street, SDPD said. 

Police in tactical gear with guns drawn surrounded the two-story home and began searching for a possible hostage.

Several people were pulled out of the home -- at least one in handcuffs -- but, after interviewing the residents, it became clear none knew about the hostage message, SDPD said. 

Police are still investigating where the message came from and if the call could have been a case of "swatting," a form of prank calling intended to draw police and first responders to someone's home when there is no emergency.

A California man was sentenced to 20 years in prison to making a bogus emergency call that led to a deadly police shooting in Kansas in 2017.

According to authorities, the incident started as a dispute during an online video game. The Federal Bureau of Investigation recognized swatting as an emerging threat as early as 2008, noting it had become commonplace among gamers.

No other information was available.

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