Calgary police charge two men after multiple swatting calls

CALGARY — Two men have been charged with public mischief for allegedly making prank calls to police about crimes and medical emergencies.

Investigators in Calgary believe one of the men made 23 swatting calls in the city’s downtown between June 4 and July 4.

They suspect he is responsible for another eight swatting calls as well as for 55 calls to 911, although those calls did not result in charges.

“The offender would make complaints about a crime that he was witnessing involving a weapon or talking about a medical emergency,” Staff Sgt. Jodi Gach said Wednesday. “What we do know is the offender was in a position where he could observe police responding to the area and provide enough information that we knew he was observing.”

Police estimate the calls cost $180,000 in officer hours.

Zachary James Jakeman, 25, is charged with 35 offences related to public mischief and making a false statement.

Swatting refers to someone reporting false emergencies to get a large number of police officers, particularly SWAT teams, to respond to specific locations.

“In all cases the offender has a need that they require to be met. In some cases it could be about an infatuation with the police and seeing police response,” Gach said.

“In some cases it could be about resentment toward police and wanting to get back at police. In other cases it could be a disgruntled employee trying to sabotage someone within a company.”

Gach said another unrelated case last month involved multiple swatting calls about a gunman in a corporate highrise, which caused about 50 employees to hide or flee from the building.

“It was treated as an active assailant with a firearm. As the police were all responding, you (could) see people either hiding underneath things or fleeing from the building at a regular day at work,” she said.

Shing Lam, 31, is charged with making a false statement and public mischief.

Gach said the calls are taking a toll on officers who have to approach every one as if it were legitimate.

“Patrol members attend each call knowing they’re being observed at the time, not knowing what the motivation of the offender was,” she said.

“Are they trying to set up a police shooting? Are they just infatuated by police? Not knowing those things becomes very uncomfortable.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Company walks away from massive oilsands project

VANCOUVER — Teck Resources Ltd. has withdrawn its application for a massive… Continue reading

Alberta and two First Nations make deal for proposed oilsands mine

EDMONTON — The Alberta government has struck deals with two northern Alberta… Continue reading

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary chiefs from Wet’suwet’en First Nation are expected to return to British… Continue reading

Fort Macleod, Alta., to get special advance screening of new ‘Ghostbusters’ film

There will be something strange in the neighbourhood of Fort Macleod, Alta.,… Continue reading

Hundreds turn up at Coldest Night of Year walk in Red Deer

It wasn’t the coldest night of the year, which probably helped the… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: The 8 best quality online stores! Shop the ultimate sales

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

Wranglers win wild Game 1 double OT thriller over Red Deer Vipers

The best-of-seven series continues Sunday in Sylvan Lake

Kings and Queens basketball triumph over Ambrose, keep playoff hopes alive

Guard Sandra Garica-Bernal sets new Queens all-time steals mark

Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

TORONTO — Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world… Continue reading

View of a longtime economist: Slower growth but no recession

WASHINGTON — In this high-profile election year, the U.S. economy boasts an… Continue reading

Amy, chasing: Klobuchar, already beating odds, faces uphill climb

WASHINGTON — It’s been a running gag ever since she launched her… Continue reading

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s attorney general hopes an inquiry into money laundering… Continue reading

Russian spy case documents missing or destroyed, Canada’s info watchdog finds

OTTAWA — Federal officials lost or possibly destroyed sensitive records about the… Continue reading

Most Read