Fake call to police sends dozens of units, SWAT to hotel in full force

ST. GEORGE — A call reporting a crime in progress sent more than two dozen police units, SWAT and negotiators to a hotel off of Brigham Road late Monday night, only to find no evidence to support what the caller reported.

The Wingate by Windham Hotel on Brigham Road was the scene of a SWAT callout Monday night, St. George, Utah, Aug. 11, 2020 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Shortly after 11 p.m., St. George Police officers responded to the Wingate by Windham Hotel at 144 W. Brigham Road after the St. George Communication Center received a call from a blocked number on the nonemergency line.

During the call, the man allegedly said he was on the top floor of the hotel and that he had killed his girlfriend and his father was tied up. He also stated that the “headcount would be 13,” St. George Police Officer Tiffany Atkin confirmed with St. George News.

Police then contacted hotel management and advised them to call each room and instruct the guests to remain in their rooms and shelter in place as officers made their way to the scene, Atkin said.

St. George SWAT was also called in to conduct a room to room search of the four story hotel, where they found no indication that an incident such as what the caller described ever took place, nor did they find any other type of criminal activity during their canvas of the hotel.

Atkin said that while the call appeared to be reporting what turned out to be a fictitious incident, the police department has a duty to respond with every resource needed to handle that type of call, regardless of whether the scenario is real or not.

“Even as outrageous as that call was,” Atkin said. “We are still going to respond accordingly to make sure everyone is safe and protect the public.”

Finding no evidence of a crime or dangerous situation, the incident concluded and all police and other emergency personnel were cleared from the scene shortly after midnight. No injuries were reported.

The St. George Police Department sent nearly 30 units to the call, including patrol officers, K-9 units, supervisors, negotiators and SWAT, while the St. George Fire Department and Gold Cross Ambulance also responded and staged at the scene.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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