EASTCHESTER, N.Y. - Just days after a scary scene unfolded on Joyce Road in Eastchester, police continue searching for the person that called in a false alarm hostage situation that led to a SWAT team response.
In the twilight hours on Saturday evening, more than 50 police officers from several nearby agencies, sporting SWAT gear, cordoned off Joyce Road before raiding a home, only to find that the caller had been pulling their legs when the property was vacant.
The call came from a private phone number. According to police officials, they are still doing their due diligence as they search for the perpetrator of the fake call.
On Monday, Sarah Collins, a nearby neighbor who stated she watched the scene unfold from afar, said that there was confusion in the neighborhood over the heavy police presence.
“We’re not really used to things like this, so it caught a lot of us off guard. We weren’t sure what was going on until it was all over the news,” she said. “I’m glad there wasn’t actually a hostage, but I hope they figure out what happened soon.”
Police maintained a perimeter in the area for several hours before reaching the conclusion that the incident and hostage situation was unfounded when the alleged house was empty.
“I’ve never seen anything like it, not in Eastchester and not anywhere else,” local resident James Garner said on Monday. “It was like a scene out of a movie. All for nothing.”
Authorities are continuing their investigation into whether the phony call was a hoax, or a case of swatting – the act of making false calls to emergency responders – which has been a problem plaguing Westchester County police departments, with incidents in Tuckahoe and Scarsdale, among other municipalities last year.
“It was all really strange. It was quiet one second, then the next thing you know there’s SWAT teams and cops in bullet proof vests blocking off roads,” Tommy Bates, who was also nearby the scene on Saturday, said. “The police did a great job of keeping everyone safe and they were in complete control the whole time.“
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