‘Swatter’ lied about cop bleeding alongside Rt. 78, police say
NJ State Police say a Pennsylvania man was arrested after making a phony 911 call claiming an officer was shot and bleeding alongside an interstate.
Michael Pellot, 35, of Bethlehem, Pa. dialed 911 on Feb. 29, claiming an officer from the New York police Department had been shot, state police said Wednesday. According to authorities, Pellot told the 911 dispatcher that the NYPD officer was lying on the side of Interstate 78, bleeding.
Within minutes, say troopers from the NJ State Police's Perryville Station along with other police agencies in the area arrived at the location where Pellot claimed the officer had been shot, according to state police. Authorities searched the area and determined that the call was a hoax, and was what police call a "swatting" incident, according to a statement from the NJ State Police.
"Swatting is a practice in which anonymous callers phone in false emergency reports to provoke a large police response. It is by no means a harmless prank, it's a very dangerous practice that can divert our emergency responders from real emergencies," state police said in a Facebook post.
Police say Pellot was located, placed under arrest and charged with creating a false public alarm and making false reports to law enforcement. He was transported to the Hunterdon County in default of $100,000 bail.
Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.