CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — One Coastal Bend family dealt with the dangerous prank of swatting over the weekend.
Swatting is the street term for making a false report to police pretending to be at a house where shots have been fired or where people are being threatened with violence.
The idea behind swatting is to get SWAT officers to surround a house while the people inside don't know what's going on.
When 23-year-old Cheyenne Le Blanc was home enjoying a cup of coffee, she looked outside and saw that the police had surrounded her home.
"Come outside with your hands raised all the way up nice and slowly," officers said.
"I walked outside, and there was like probably 15 or twelve cops, and they all had big guns pointed at me," Le Blanc said.
Le Blanc remembers Sept. 7 as a nightmare.
"I'm just freaking out thinking I'm gonna get shot," Le Blanc said.
Le Blanc was alone at her parents home on Odessa Drive and scared for her life.
"I walked out with my hands up and just like this crying really bad," Le Blanc said.
Le Blanc listened to officers directions.
"She searched for me and then she handcuffed me. Again I lost it, and I got stuck in a cop car," Le Blanc said.
Police started asking Le Blanc questions.
"Specifically where my brother was and where my stepdad was," Le Blanc said.
According to Le Blanc, her brother was out of town, and that's when officers told her what was going on.
"They had got a call saying that six of us were in the house held hostage and that I was still walking around. that I'd be home," Le Blanc said.
According to Le Blanc, police told her that the caller claimed to be her brother Josh Holt and that he had shot two people including his dad and was going to turn the gun on himself.
"I freaked out hearing that you know and then my dads at work I'm like this makes no sense," Le Blanc said.
Police quickly figured out it was a prank call.
"We don't know where, you know it could have been a neighbor, it could have been anybody. We don't know right now," Lt. Michael Pena said.
Even though Holt was halfway upstate at the time he received a message from a stranger on a video game chatroom
"He started cursing me out, and I didn't know what was going on. He started listing off my address starting listing off landline numbers, and he started making threats like death threats," Holt said.
Although not a technical term swatting is when people make false reports of a shooting or emergency where a SWAT team is called to a location. The dangerous trend has swept through the online gaming community.
"It ties up officers from doing legitimate calls," Pena said.
According to officers, Le Blanc did the right thing.
"You see a bunch of officers there. My simple answer is to comply with the officer's directions," Pena said.
The family is still shaken, but no one was hurt.
"They could SWAT our house again. They could call our schools and like make hoax threats there too," Holt said.
The family hopes the event does not happen to them again and are waiting on police to see where they are in the investigation.
They believe the person pulled the prank was able to get some of Holt's information through social media.
Police warn to not post your location or any personal info online, especially your phone number.
According to CCPD, making a false report is a felony that could send you to prison for up to two years.
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