Police respond to hoax murder call at UC Santa Cruz off-campus apartment

SANTA CRUZ — A call to police on Mother’s Day morning had emergency responders headed to a Westside home for what turned out to be a fake homicide report.

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The caller, using Santa Cruz Police Department’s non-emergency line around 10:40 a.m. Sunday, reportedly told a dispatcher that he had killed his girlfriend four hours earlier and that she was now in the bathtub. Before hanging up, the caller said he wanted to turn himself in, giving an address on the 700 block of Escalona Drive.

The address is apparently a home rented to seven or eight UC Santa Cruz students, causing Santa Cruz police to seek backup from the nearby UC Santa Cruz Police Department, in addition to fire and ambulance resources.

Santa Cruz Deputy Police Chief Jon Bush said Monday that the incident was a hoax, what was referred to as a “swatting call.” Such criminal acts involve making false reports of serious emergencies to law enforcement agencies. Residents who were at home when police arrived said no one by the name the caller had given to dispatchers lived there, Bush said.

“There was no homicide, no nothing,” Bush said.

Sunday’s call loosely mirrored the city’s first homicide of the year, involving the killing of a UCSC student in February at Seabright State Beach. Her boyfriend, a former student, was arrested and charged with murder in that case after allegedly calling 911 to turn himself in.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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