Hoax Sics SWAT Team on Home of Cyberbully Critic

Caller claimed he was holding hostage in Parry Aftab's home
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2011 3:42 AM CDT
Attorney and online child safety advocate Parry Aftab sits in her office in Wyckoff, NJ.   (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

(Newser) – Authorities are seeking a hoaxster who sent 30 police officers and a SWAT crew to the home of a prominent Internet safety advocate and critic of cyber-bullying. The man called 911 to say he had killed four people and was holding another hostage inside the New Jersey home of Parry Aftab, MSNBC reports. Police surrounded the home for three hours and eventually fired tear gas canisters inside, only to find the home empty except for Aftab's cat.

Aftab was away for the weekend, and authorities believe the hoaxster used a computer that cloned her number, making it appear the 911 call had come from her home phone. "There are a lot of people who hide behind a computer monitor and think it's going to get them attention, but this is going to get them the wrong kind of attention," Aftab warns. "This is not a harmless prank."

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