Layton police investigate SWAT hoaxes in neighborhood

Posted at 10:23 PM, Apr 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-05 00:23:41-04

LAYTON, Utah -- One Layton Neighborhood has recently been under attack by something called swatting.

That’s when an emergency is called, the SWAT team shows up and it turns out it was a hoax.

It’s happened three times in Layton since December and police are frustrated.

“They have been pretty significant emergency calls that we received and responded to try and deal with and we come to find out that they haven’t been anything at all,” said Lt. Travis Lyman, spokesman for Layton Police Department.

Layton police say rolling out the SWAT team is a major endeavor. It involves dozens of resources and disrupts an entire community.

This happened three times between December and February in the area of 2250 North 10 West.

“There was a bomb threat, four bombs were placed at this residence,” said Lyman about a situation on Dec. 17.

Then on Feb. 14, Lyman said they received a report “several family members had been killed and they were threatening to kill another family member that was still alive.”

Then just a few weeks later another incident: “There were two men with machine guns, they had killed members of the family and were holding others hostage.”

It turned out each call was a hoax.

“Our biggest concern is that we might be tied up on this type of a call and a real emergency may come up that we are delayed in responding to,” Lyman said.

Police have determined two of the homes where the emergencies were allegedly taking place had one family member in common.

Police say the man being targeted has his own YouTube channel that has gained more than two million viewers.

“We suspect somebody associated with that is the one doing this, maybe someone who has not been happy with some of the things he has said on the YouTube channel,” Lyman said.

Police don’t believe anyone is in danger, but they would like to catch whoever is responsible. They have no leads at this time.

“They could be anywhere in the world -- it’s very difficult to find out where these things originate from,” Lyman said.