LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Police say a homeowner in Fern Creek had no idea what was happening when members of the Louisville Metro Police SWAT team showed up at his door with guns drawn, slapping handcuffs on him.
As it turns out, police say it was all a big misunderstanding, and he was a victim of "SWATTING."
According to the FBI's website, "SWATTING" involves a prank call to 911 for the purposes of faking an emergency to draw a response from law enforcement, particularly a SWAT team.
Officer Matt Sanders, a spokesman for the LMPD, said it started just before 9 a.m. Wednesday when officers received a call involving "a domestic violence incident."
The LMPD SWAT team, along with members of the Jeffersontown Police Department, arrived at the home.
The homeowner, Matt Mercurio, was in the shower at the time and admits it startled him when he heard voices outside.
"I'm thinking 'What is this? Am I hearing voices?' But no, someone is standing outside my house with a bullhorn going, 'Come out of the house. Come out,'" he said. "I swear it was something straight out of Diehard or something. It just really freaked me out."
According to Mercurio, he opened the door to see guns drawn and said he was promptly handcuffed.
"[Police] said, 'We got a report this morning,'" Mercurio said. "'Someone called in and said there is a dead body in your house. There is a person shot, and there is a child in the house dead.' And, of course, I freaked out."
Police say Mercurio gave them permission to search but didn't find anything, and Mercurio was cleared of any wrongdoing.
The person in the house was in the shower and came to the door to guns pointed at him. Police handcuffed him and explained the situation. He gave persmission to search the house. Nothing found, all is good.— Dalton Godbey (@DaltonTVNews) February 27, 2019
Sanders said Mercurio was a victim of "SWATTING."
"Swatting, in general, is when someone calls in a false report of an incident that would prompt a response from police, whether that be a hostage situation, an active shooter or some kind of violent crime incident," LMPD's SWAT Commander Lt. Paul Humphrey said Wednesday.
Mercurio was shaken up after the incident but bragged on law enforcement who handled the ordeal with extreme cautiousness.
"It's unfortunate, because we have professionals trying to protect us and doing their job, but they get distracted and they get sent to my house when other real things are happening," Mercurio said. "It's just unfortunate."
At this point, no charges have been filed in this case, but LMPD said that "swatting" is illegal.
An investigation into who originally made the call is ongoing.
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