Hawley Police Respond To Fake Hostage Call


The City of Hawley saw a police presence Tuesday afternoon in the 1000 block of Hartford Street.

According to the Hawley Police Department, at approximately 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, a male caller made a call from an unknown number to the Red River Regional Dispatch Center. The caller identified himself as the homeowner of a residence within the 1000 block of Hartford Street. The nature of the call was that there was an active hostage situation occurring within the home. The male made reference that he was armed and would harm occupants of the home if he did not speak to a hostage negotiator.

Law enforcement responded, esablishing contact with a male outside of the residence. He was briefly taken into custody without incident. There was also a female adolescent present outside of the residence, who was counseled by officers at the scene.

Law enforcement say this was a fake call termed as 'swatting'. The definition of swatting is 'the action or practice of making a prank call to emergency services in an attempt to bring about the dispatch of a large number of armed police officers to a particular address.'

Law enforcement are investigating and will attempt to establish the origin of the phone call.

In addition to the Hawley Police Department, the Clay County Sheriff's Office and Minnesota State Patrol assisted in the call.