Baraboo police say false threat to schools was case of ‘swatting’

BARABOO, Wis. — Police in Baraboo say they have received multiple “swatting” reports in recent days, including a false bomb threat received by the Baraboo School District earlier this week.

Baraboo High School and Jack Young Middle School were evacuated Tuesday morning after the bomb threats were called in. Both buildings were cleared and no explosive devices were found, and students were allowed to resume their school day later that afternoon.

Police say they have now determined that threat was a likely “swatting” event — meaning someone called in the false threat in hopes of bringing large amounts of law enforcement to a particular address. The purpose can vary from tying up local law enforcement by forcing them to use a large number of resources to trying to scare another person by sending a large response to their home.

RELATED: No harmful devices found at Baraboo High School, Jack Young Middle School

Baraboo police say another similar incident happened at a home in the city on Wednesday when a false report of a violent crime taking place was called in. Officers investigated and found the claims to be false.

Lt. Ryan La Broscian of the Baraboo Police Department says these types of incidents are not new to law enforcement. Anyone who has information about the swatting incidents should call the Baraboo Police Department at 608-355-2720.