Police swarm Germantown home after false alarm - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Police swarm Germantown home after false alarm

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

Police swarmed the home of Germantown mayor’s father--but it turned out to be a false call.

Just after 1 a.m. Monday, Dino Palazzolo and his wife were fast asleep in their home when the phone rang. It was a Germantown Police Lieutenant asking him to come outside.

When he opened the door, uniformed Germantown police officers and SWAT team members were surrounding his house.

According to a police report, Germantown police received a call from a suicide hotline relaying information that they got from someone using a fake name and Palazzolo’s address. The call said they had a bullet proof vest on, and three children—ages 4, 9, and 12, were tied up in their rooms. The caller also said his wife was tied up in the bathroom with a bomb tied to her, and he would hurt them all if police did not show up immediately.

"I said what do you mean?” Palazzolo said. “That's murder, suicide, hostage, I don't know what you call it. But we are fine. He said well, we need to check. I said of course you need to check. My wife was so traumatized; she was scared to death. She almost fainted."

Police figured out quickly that it was all a hoax. The act is called swatting—calling in fake reports to police so they have to respond to someone else’s home.

"Fifteen-thousand homes and bang, I'm the one. Why? I have not made an enemy,” Palazzolo said.

Palazzolo’s son Mike is the mayor of Germantown, but that doesn’t change the fact that he he cannot understand why someone would do this to him.

"I feel a little tense,” he said. “My wife still feels a little traumatized."

His only theory is that it may have been a response to a Letter to the Editor he wrote to the Commercial Appeal about the election—something he feels was pretty harmless.

He hopes whoever is responsible won’t be able to swat anyone else.

"To be honest with you, I have absolutely no idea of who did it. But I hope like the devil that they find out who did it, because that was a very scary night for us."

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