A bogus call of two masked men with guns triggered a large police response Wednesday to an industrial area of East Rutherford.
A Bergen County Regional SWAT Team was summoned after the "swatting" caller directed police to "masked guys with guns" at the Poplar Street address off Paterson Avenue around 4:10 p.m., authorities said.
"At the time of the call, the complainant was difficult to understand due to a language barrier," East Rutherford Deputy Chief Phillip Taormina said. "Upon officers arrival, all appeared in order, a perimeter was established and the area was secured."
"Swatting" incidents peaked nationwide about four years ago but have since subsided somewhat.
Authorities say deploying SWAT teams and additional personnel from an area to unsuspecting victims’ homes and businesses -- as well as to schools that end up being locked down -- can put people in danger while diverting resources from potential areas of critical need.
Earlier this year, a judge in Kansas sentenced a California swatter to 20 years in federal prison -- meaning: no parole -- for bogus 911 call that resulted in an innocent man's death.
Detectives were investigating Wednesday's hoax, Taormina said.
Police Chief Dennis Rivelli thanked the SWAT team, as well as the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, Bergen County Sheriff’s Office and police from Carlstadt, Rutherford and Wallington "for their swift response and assistance."
NOTE: The New Jersey office of Daily Voice will always wait to publish such stories as these until law enforcement officials declare an incident completed, for obvious safety reasons.
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