HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - We’re learning more about a 911 call that turned out to be bogus, but not before it tied up dozens of officers who thought one of their own had been shot.
Now they need your help tracking down the caller.
Here’s an excerpt from the call:
Operator: "Harris County 911."
Caller: "Yes, can you hear me?"
Operator: "Uh, yes."
Caller: "Uh, yes (inaudible), a Harris County Sheriff’s officer shot."
Operator: "OK, say it again, sir."
Caller: "There’s been a Harris County Sheriff’s officer shot."
“It turned out to be a hoax, a bad call,” said Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman.
Herman says that wasn’t determined until after an exhaustive search.
“Because we mobilized probably 50 to 60 law enforcement vehicles to look for this officer,” Herman said. “Meanwhile, the rest of the county is waiting on police services. So it’s a big burden.”
The caller claimed the officer had been shot at an apartment complex in the area of Ella and Kuykendahl.
Herman says it’s the same area where they believe the call originated. The problem is it was made from either a phone booth or a cell phone only capable of making emergency calls.
“Very serious charges can be filed against the violator when we catch them,” Herman said.
So-called “SWATting,” when pranksters purposely direct police to an address, has become an issue for departments across the nation.
But Herman considers this just a hoax. He believes someone will recognize the caller’s voice. Anyone with information on this case is urged to call police.