4-Hour SWAT Standoff Blamed on False Report

The incident ends when police find the house empty of weapons and people. A teen is taken into custody.

UPDATE: At 9:13 a.m. Monday, the boy who allegedly alerted authorities to a bogus armed standoff remains under medical observation and has not been arrested, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CA—After a nearly four-hour standoff involving the Orange County Sheriff’s Department SWAT Team and helicopter, investigators believe reports of an armed standoff may have been made-up by a 16-year-old boy.

A teenager, who called 911 to report an armed standoff inside his home between a woman and two men, has been taken into custody for a medical evaluation after the SWAT Team found the home empty of people and weapons, said Capt. Steve Doan.

“Nobody and no weapons,” said Doan.

At the same time, deputies are scouring the neighborhood to make sure the three people didn’t sneak out of the house after the SWAT Team arrived at about 12:30 p.m. and when police entered the house at nearly 4 p.m.

“We want to confirm the welfare of these three people,” explained Doan.

The sheriff’s department evacuated a dozen people from seven neighboring homes at the 3100 block of Paseo La Branza when it deployed its SWAT team to a possible armed standoff involving three people at the house.

According to investigators at the scene, a 16-year-old boy called 911 to report a woman and two men arguing with weapons inside the home, said Doan. Authorities traced the call and were able to convince the teen to exit the home.

With conflicting reports from the teen and unable to speak to the three people inside the home, officers evacuated neighbors and prepared to enter the home if the three people did not voluntarily leave, said Doan. After several hours, they made entry.

The entire block remained roped off by police as roughly 20 residents watched and waited for permission to return home.

Neighbor Reggi Warner was outside the house walking her dog, when the police helicopter arrived on the scene.

“I was walking my dog, and all the sudden I hear a police helicopter say, ‘Get back inside your house,” said Warner.

Deputies also ordered the people inside the standoff house to, “Come out with your hands up,” prompting several surrounding neighbors to walk outside with their hands in the air, said Warner.

Residents in the area took the incident with relative calm. Some even joked about serving up cocktails to the SWAT team.

“This is the most excitement we have seen in this neighborhood in a long time,” said Judy Swires, who lives in the neighborhood.

Dusty W Otero September 03, 2012 at 09:54 PM
I see all the cop cars and helicopter flying around my house ..and across the street...La novia and san juan creek on the corner house...lots of Action...
Penny Arévalo (Editor) September 03, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Hey Dusty maybe you can get a photo for us!
Dusty W Otero September 03, 2012 at 09:56 PM
I thought maybe I needed a permit from the city to have 10 or more guest over lol
KS Schumaker September 03, 2012 at 10:25 PM
One team in, another on standby. Neighbors going to put video on ustream.
sam jewel September 03, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Just left the scene, still nothing yet other than the SWAT van moving in fornt of the house an hour ago.
Christi Renee September 03, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Go Team Los Corrales! Very informative!!! Such great neighbors! May God bless those poor people!
Scott September 03, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Glad to get the updates...we're on Santo Domingo. Nothing on news so its been mystery. Please do keep posting updates so we know what is up and when its over. Thanks.
Scott September 03, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Police airship is gone again...done? or refuel?
George jones September 03, 2012 at 11:06 PM
It's domestic violence is SWAT and a hilocopter flying around really necessary?
Keith September 03, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Probable permit issue no prayer meetings on Monday.
heather l September 03, 2012 at 11:11 PM
So glad to have info. Any more updates?
Dusty W Otero September 03, 2012 at 11:16 PM
it was a Hoax ...the guy was a kid tripping out onj drugs and said he was being held hostage and guns and amo were in the house I am not kidding
Dusty W Otero September 03, 2012 at 11:17 PM
who is going to pay for this and on labor day ???
Dusty W Otero September 03, 2012 at 11:20 PM
ok m here is one sorry I didn't reply I and a guest of mine took our bicycles to the ..STAND OFF ON LA NOVIA ..
Christi Renee September 04, 2012 at 12:26 AM
LOL OMG! You mean we all had to listen to hours of those helicopters overhead for nothing!!! It's got to be a coverup! I think they finally found Elvis in that house!!!
Shirley September 04, 2012 at 01:27 AM
When they find out who made this phone call they will be sorry they ever thought about the prank!
Penny Arévalo (Editor) September 04, 2012 at 04:12 AM
Will, your comment was removed for violating our Terms of Use. You're invited to participate if you agree to our terms. You can find them here: http://sanjuancapistrano.patch.com/terms
Brad Potter September 04, 2012 at 04:15 PM
OK boys, the party is over. You can go back to writing traffic tickets and eating donuts.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) September 05, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Careful! We can't accuse people of crimes (unless, of course, they've been prosecuted already).
V. Duvall September 07, 2012 at 12:16 AM
Great job by the Orange County Sheriff's Department. Better to be safe than sorry, if this had been a real standoff it could have been really bad. This goes to show us how well prepared our deputies are. Thanks.


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