District: ‘Swatting’ Challenge Targets Olentanga High School

According to the sheriff’s office, someone called 911 claiming to be a student at Olentanga High School. The caller said someone was in the closet with a gun.

COLUMBUS, Ohio. On Tuesday, law enforcement responded to at least two central Ohio high schools to threats that were later ruled to be hoaxes.

At approximately 12:44 p.m., the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office reported that someone called 911 claiming to be a student at Olentanga High School. The caller said that someone was in the school bathroom with a gun, and the caller “got away safely.”

The deputies responded to the campus and ransacked every room in the high school. Nothing was found and there were no reports of injuries.

The sheriff’s office said they were aware of reports of prank calls at other schools, but took the threat at the high school seriously until they confirmed all students and staff were safe.

A district spokesman told 10TV that they had become aware that Olentangi High School was among other schools that were subjected to a “slap” on Tuesday.

Just after 12:30 p.m., Columbus police and firefighters responded to East High School after the threat was reported. The police said it was a prank and they are investigating who called.

In November last year, Gov. Mike DeWine signed into law a law on false emergency calls in the state.

“Swatting” – that is, when someone knowingly reports a false emergency, which causes a law enforcement response – is a fourth-degree felony. If a person is physically harmed during a police response, it becomes a felony in the second degree. Convicts may also be financially responsible for the costs associated with law enforcement responses.

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