Hawley Man Becomes Center of Hoax 911 Call in Swatting Incident

Hawley Police released the full dispatch call

HAWLEY, Minn. — A Hawley man becomes the center of a hoax 911 call in a tactic called swatting.

A call went to the Red River Regional Dispatch Center around 4:30 Tuesday afternoon. Hear the full call here.

It claimed there was a hostage situation in Todd Rendon’s home.

“When I came out there I came out like this. I looked over here and I saw a sniper and I saw guns. So, I stood and I waited and they all rolled up on me, like that. And I’ve never been so afraid or humiliated in my life,” Rendon said.

The scene was cleared after there was nothing suspicious found in his house.

“This is not something we take lightly. It’s kind of a double-edged sword because we have to respond accordingly, because if we don’t and somebody does get hurt, people are going to be like, ‘why didn’t you do this?'” Clay County Sheriff Mark Empting said.

Swatting is defined as deceiving law enforcement by making up a serious emergency.

Rendon, who has a growing presence on YouTube, says he suspects someone who watches him placed the call.

“Apparently there is someone out there in this world that has a grudge against me or doesn’t like what I do and wanted to have me taken out,” he said.

“They know what they’re doing, they know how to use the loopholes that are available to cover their tracks,” Hawley Police Chief Joe Backlund said.

Police say swatting isn’t common in the area, though they say the Dilworth Walmart incident last week did seem to be a hoax 911 call.

“These are serious incidents that put a lot of people at risk. Not just the victims of the calls but also the neighborhoods at risk, they get anxious when they see us there with our vests and helmets and our rifles,” Empting said.

As terrifying as the situation was for Rendon, he says he’s still grateful for law enforcement.

“I hold no grudges against them, because they got here quick. Had it been a real situation, they would’ve handled their business,” he said.

Authorities are still trying to trace the origin of the call.

The Executive Director of the Minnesota Police Chiefs Association says there’s an effort to make swatting a federal crime rather than trying to apply a more general charge like making a deadly threat.

Categories: Crime, Local News, Minnesota News