Overland Park Police Field Two Prank Calls This Weekend | KCUR

Overland Park Police Field Two Prank Calls This Weekend

Jan 15, 2018

After report of a shooting and the ensuing standoff around a home in south Overland Park, Kansas Monday morning, the Overland Park Police Department (OPPD) has determined the call was a hoax.

Dispatchers received a 911 call from a man claiming to have shot a relative inside a home on 131st Street, near Blue Valley Northwest High School. The man told police if they approached the residence, he would shoot. 

Officers swarmed the house and set up perimeter. They were able to make contact with the man inside and his two teenage sons. The father denied making the call, and investigators deemed the initial claim unfounded. But OPPD spokesman John Lacy says they take this very seriously.

"We don't think it's a joke, we don't think it's funny. So if we can get down to the person who actually made the phone call, we're looking at charges," Lacy says.

This is the second false report Overland Park Police received this weekend. 

Early Saturday morning, a jogger claimed she was sexually assaulted while running on the Indian Creek trail near Lamar. She provided a thorough description of the suspect to dispatchers — detailing the suspect's approximate age, weight, build and clothing.

But, after "intense follow-up," police deemed the woman's claim was unfounded.

According to Lacy, prank calls don't happen often at the OPPD. But when they do, there's not exactly a good system for preventing police from expending time and resources following a false claim.

"To try to prevent this, we always call the person back to see if we can get additional information. Sometimes with prank calls, hoax calls, they will not answer," Lacy says.

But he says, it is still their duty to investigate every call they receive. Which makes hoaxes like the false report Monday morning — also known as "swatting" — very dangerous. The call drained the department's resources for an hour and a half. 

Both incidents are still under investigation.

Andrea Tudhope is a reporter for KCUR 89.3. Email her at andreat@kcur.org, and follow her on Twitter @_tudhope.