SWAT Responds to False Hostage Call at Peninsula Beverly Hills
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A Beverly Hills SWAT team responded to an early morning hostage claim at the five-star Peninsula Beverly Hills Thursday. According to police, the call was received around 6:30 a.m. from a man who claimed “there were men with guns in his hotel room, and they weren’t letting him leave,” Beverly Hills Police Captain Lincoln Hoshino said.
Based on the “suspicious circumstances,” BHPD officers went to the historic hotel located in the 9800 block of South Santa Monica Boulevard. However, the occupants of the hotel room mentioned in the call did not respond to police. That’s when the Beverly Hills SWAT team was called in. The SWAT team determined that the call was a hoax after team members were able to reach the guests and establish that there was no emergency, nor were any armed men found within the hotel.
The guests in the hotel room said they had not placed the call, and Hoshino said they might even have been asleep through the entire emergency situation.
Police are still trying to identify the person who placed the call, which is the latest in a series of deliberate false alarms dubbed “swatting calls.” An estimated 400 swatting calls are placed every year and draw large numbers of law enforcement to one or more locations.
“I’ve long said this needs to be [punished as] attempted murder,” a former Washington Post reporter told a Kansas newspaper after a previous swatting call incident. “Nine times out of 10 nobody gets hurt or nobody gets seriously hurt, but things can go wrong.”
Featured photo courtesy Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel
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