Photo: Jesus Lopez-Zucilla
“Swatting” is the act of reporting a major but false emergency to trigger a large number of police to be dispatched to the reported address only for them to arrive and find there is no emergency. Not only does “swatting” take away resources from real emergencies but it also places innocent people in danger.
Such an incident happened late on May 18th. Several Fresno County Deputies responded to a home on the 5000 block of East Grant Avenue in Fresno. A caller purported as the resident of this home, stated a 20-person fight broke out in his backyard where children were present. He also stated one person had armed themselves with a large butcher’s knife.
When deputies entered the yard through the side gate, they found a small group of people sitting in the patio, chatting. The deputies were surprised at the lack of commotion and the group was startled at the sight of numerous deputies.
The deputies spoke people inside the home who told the same story as the group outside: although a party had taken place earlier, no fights had occurred. The deputies showed the group the phone number from which the report was made and one attendee recognized the number of that of her ex-boyfriend’s, 27- year old Jesus Lopez-Zucilla.
Lopez-Zucilla was quickly tracked to a home on the 3000 block of East Washington Avenue just a few miles away. Although he involvement in making a false report, he was arrested for this and for two other outstanding warrants.
Lopez-Zucilla was booked into the Fresno County Jail for the misdemeanor charge of making a false report. He is also held on two unrelated misdemeanor warrants.
His bail is set at $26,200. Although some view “swatting” as a prank, this is an illegal offense, and Fresno Deputies work closely with Fresno County District Attorneys to prosecute offenders to the fullest extent of the law.
The suspect was also arrested last year (arrest from July 24, 2018).
Photo from FCSO