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Police Search for Perpetrator of Reynoldsburg Hostage Hoax
REYNOLDSBURG (Ken Hines) -- Investigators are trying to identify the person responsible for a report of a violent hostage situation that turned out to be a hoax.
SWAT officers entered an empty home on Haverton Dr. early Friday after police received a report from man who claimed to be holding a family at gunpoint inside the house. The caller also claimed to be in possession of a bomb.
More than 70 emergency responders from three agencies converged on the home after an unidentified male called 911 to report he had taken two adults and their child hostage because of an earlier case of bullying.
After authorities gathered outside the home, the man made a second 911 call, during which he claimed to have shot himself and someone else while wrestling over a gun with one of the home's occupants.
Investigators eventually learned that the caller's supposed victims were vacationing outside the country while the incident played out at their home.
"They were very surprised that this was going on at their house," Renoldsburg Police Lt. Ron Wright said of the family.
Police soon reached the family by phone, and received permission to enter the house, which was found to be unoccupied.
Investigators believe the hoax's perpetrator called 911 via the Internet, making it difficult to determine from where the call was placed.
Police evacuated an unspecified number of the neighborhood's residents before realizing they were the victims of a hoax.