Westfield swatting incident remains under investigation

A disturbing phone call to police has led to a swatting investigation in Westfield.
Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 11:52 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 15, 2022 at 3:24 PM EDT
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WESTFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A disturbing phone call to police has led to a swatting investigation in Westfield.

Blue lights crowded the area of Westfield’s Park Square on Friday night after multiple law enforcement agencies responded to a disturbing 911 phone call to police.

“Stating that they had a rifle, they were on a roof in the downtown area, and that they had planted a bomb,” said Westfield Police Capt. Steve Dickinson.

Westfield Police told Western Mass News that they responded accordingly and called the Mass. State Police bomb squad and helicopter and called in detectives. They blocked off the roads to downtown and asked businesses, like The Tavern restaurant, to remain in place while they investigated.

“A police officer came to the door and requested that I not let anybody out and not let anyone in unless I know them well,” said Peter Kantos, owner of The Tavern.

Within the hour, they realized the call was an incident of swatting, which is when someone calls in claiming there is an imminent danger when there was never a threat to begin with.

“It’s costly and we are investigating, so we will be getting to the bottom of it,” Dickinson added.

Police told us they believe the call came from a man who disguised his voice and they are actively investigating where the call originated from. Despite it all being a spoof, Kantos was still shaken up.

“I had a restaurant full of guests I know very well...Of course, we were nervous,” Kantos added.

Western Mass News will continue to follow this story and will have more information as it becomes available.