April Fools' prank sends SWAT team to innocent family's house - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

April Fools' prank sends SWAT team to innocent family's house

(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
TIPTON COUNTY, TN (WMC) -

It's a dangerous prank: Calling police to someone else's house by claiming a person has been shot or has a gun. Now, a Tipton County family may be the latest victim of so-called "swatting."

"It was not a funny prank at all," said Jody Yarbrough, whose family became the victims of a dangerous April Fools' Day prank that sent a SWAT team to her house. "Everything was running through my mind of what they wanted, I had no idea."

A caller claimed he had killed someone and was inside with hostages. Yarbrough had no idea deputies were preparing for a violent situation as they surrounded her home.

"My children noticed they were looking this way, so I thought we better go in because we thought maybe it was something down the road down here," she said.

No one is laughing now. In fact, neighbors are furious with the unknown prankster who will face charges for the false report.

"Excuse me while I choose my language, it was in very poor taste and I'll leave it at that," said neighbor Gordon Nelson, who couldn't get onto his blocked off street for almost an hour. "Somebody could have very easily been shot and killed over it, because I saw at least four long guns."

Investigators say the prank took resources away from other emergencies and will likely cost thousands of dollars.

Tipton County Deputy Chief Donna Turner said, "Because of the threats and seriousness of it, we had to pull in special teams, negotiators, SWAT team."

Deputies think the caller likely knew the Yarbroughs since they relayed details about the family to dispatchers. The West Tennessee mom has no idea who would put their lives at risk and says if anyone is an April fool, it's whoever sent the SWAT team to her house.

"It could have been quite dangerous and it was. I don't know, I just hope they catch them, whoever it was."

Investigators say they are having a hard time tracing the call.

The caller apparently used an app that hides the real phone number, so instead, it displayed a phone number from the Yarbrough's home.

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