Teen charged in Huber Heights bomb threats and ‘swatting’ calls

A 14-year-old Huber Heights boy is accused of making “swatting“ calls, including bomb threats that evacuated two businesses Friday and Saturday and a third call claiming he would kill his mother and himself.

The teen is charged with two counts of inducing panic and one count of making false alarms following the swatting calls, which are prank calls to emergency services meant to draw a large law enforcement response.

The teen is incarcerated in the Montgomery County Juvenile Justice Center, said Sgt. Brian Carr, public information officer for the Huber Heights Police Division.

The first call was a bomb threat made by a male at 2:20 p.m. Friday to Kroger at 7747 Old Troy Pike.

The caller said the business had 10 minutes to evacuate the store and that he hid bombs in air vents. There were approximately 100 customers inside when the store had to be evacuated, according to a release from Huber Heights police. A thorough search did not yield any explosive devices, police said.

The second call was made at 2:19 p.m. Saturday to McDonald’s at 5562 Merily Way. A male caller claimed that bombs were placed around the building and that the fast-food restaurant had 10 minutes to evacuate before the bombs would be detonated. The manager who called police said the voice sounded like a recording. The eatery was evacuated, and no incendiary devices were found, according to the release.

A third call was placed about six hours later, at 8:13 p.m. Saturday, to Huber Heights police dispatch. A male said “he had his mother in a bathroom and that he was going to kill her and then himself,” the release stated.

Dispatchers were able to contact the mother, who said she was fine and that everything was OK, police said.

A preliminary investigation determined that the same phone number was used for all three hoax calls, and police were able to identify the teen as the suspect.

Swatting calls have been on the rise.

A caller described as a younger male made a bomb threat last Tuesday afternoon to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles office on Roosevelt Boulevard in Middletown. The BMV, Family Dollar, NCY3 and a barber school were all evacuated in the busy shopping center, but no devices were found, Middletown police said.

A teen from Medina, Ohio, was identified in November as one of three teens authorities said were responsible for multiple Los Angeles swatting incidents in August 2020 and September 2021.

Such incidents waste public safety resources and “interrupt the serenity of society,” Huber Heights police stated in its release.

“All threats are taken seriously and thoroughly investigated,” police stated. “Any false claims will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

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