BROWN DEER -- A prank emergency call to police sent several departments scrambling to the home of one very confused family.
The Milwaukee County SWAT and Bomb Squad joined police officers in rushing to the normally quiet Brown Deer neighborhood Wednesday afternoon, August 17th.
"It was really crazy and scary," said Carol Dumas, homeowner.
Police had received a call that an armed man was inside a home, threatening his family and that explosives might also be present. Unfortunately this was all news to Carol Dumas, who also lives in the home with her grandchildren.
"We're looking out the window thinking it was our neighbor. My grandson said, 'mom they pointing those guns at us,'" said Dumas.
The startled family quickly following police orders to get out of the home.
"They asked us if we had any guns or weapons in the house and of course I do not," said Dumas.
The SWAT and Bomb Squad searched the home and deemed it safe -- it looked like the emergency caller had just made the whole thing up.
"We believe it may be a swatting call which is basically where someone spoofs the information coming into a police department to elicit a SWAT or type response," said Brad Caddock, crime prevention public information officer with the Brown Deer Police Department.
Dumas says the caller used the name of her husband, who died about eight years ago. The fake emergency tied up resources from about a half a dozen departments for several hours -- resources that could have been used for other emergencies.
"It's frustrating in the sense that it puts unnecessary lives in jeopardy," said Caddock.
Police are investigating the call's source and say that person could face criminal charges.
Dumas just wants to know why they targeted her.
"It angers me that somebody would go this far for no reason at all," Dumas said.
The Brown Deer Police Department didn't have an estimate on how much all those resources cost they had to respond to this incident. They are asking anyone with information to contact them.