Friday, February 20, 2009

911 Prank call caused high school lockdown

A reported home invasion robbery and shooting in Loxahatchee, Florida that put Seminole Ridge High School on lockdown on February 18th turned out to be a prank, according to Palm Beach County sheriff's officials.

"It appears to be completely a hoax," said Lt. Shane Cioffi after deputies searched a home and found nothing. A Spanish-speaking caller phoned the county's multilingual 911 line at 2:11 p.m. and told dispatchers that people were breaking into the home on Orange Grove Boulevard and that the people living in the home were shooting at their intruders.

The house is on a road right behind the school. School was due to let out at 2:50 p.m., but students were kept inside.

More than 20 deputies showed up and set up a perimeter around the house. They entered the home and found nobody inside and no sign of a robbery or shooting. The lockdown lasted for at least 20 minutes before students were released.

Cioffi said a hoax like the 911 call, which is itself a crime, could put deputies and the public who is in the area in danger by sending deputies into a situation where they expect to encounter somebody who is armed. "It's potentially deadly," Cioffi said. (info from the Palm Beach Post)

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