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Toms River ‘Swatting’ Incidents Linked to Canadian Teenager, Police Say

A SWAT team. (Credit: File Photo/ Oregon Department of Transportation)

A SWAT team. (Credit: File Photo/ Oregon Department of Transportation)

A pair of “swatting” incidents in Toms River – one at a school and one at a private residence – have been linked to a 14-year-old Canadian boy, police said Tuesday.

The Nov. 20-21 incidents were both unfounded. “Swatting” refers to the act of calling police and falsely reporting an armed event, with the intent of drawing a large number of armed police officers to a particular address. The incidents are sometimes aimed at causing general chaos, while others are targeted at individuals – increasingly politically motivated – with the hope of causing them physical harm during the fog of a would-be police raid.

In the Nov. 21 incident, police were dispatched to Toms River Intermediate School East regarding a potential swatting incident/threat received by the school. Out of an abundance of caution, the area was thoroughly checked and cleared, and the threat was deemed unfounded, prior to students entering the building, said police spokeswoman Jillian Messina.

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Within 45 minutes of starting their investigation, Detective Graham Borg and Corporal Jesse Robertazzi of the TRPD’s Cyber Crimes Unit successfully identified the suspect, a 14-year-old male from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The detectives, with the assistance of Officer Scott Fallano, were subsequently able to connect the teen to another swatting call at a residence, received the prior morning by TRPD dispatchers.

“Our law enforcement partners in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada arrested and charged the 9th grader in Canada for the two swatting incidents in Toms River,” Messina said.

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