GLOUCESTER COUNTY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A southern New Jersey lawmaker who is trying to fight prank calls known as swatting suddenly found himself facing a line of police guns over the weekend.

As WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported, Assemblyman Paul Moriarty was sitting in his Gloucester County home Saturday afternoon when he suddenly got a call from police.

“They asked me if everything’s OK at my house. I say, yeah why? They said, ‘because we have a report of a shooting at your house,'” Moriarty said.

The lawmaker was then forced to march outside, hands visible, Smith reported.

Moriarty had already been leading the effort to increase penalties and fines for this type of hoax, and said he’s now sticking with that mission after experiencing the dangers first hand.

“It’s sick, it’s evil, and someone’s going to get hurt or possibly killed,” he said.

So-called swatting involves a fake threat reported to provoke a massive police response.

There have been several hoax reports in northern New Jersey in recent weeks.

Earlier this month, police responded to a report of a hostage in Upper Freehold Township and discovered it was a hoax. There was also a similar incident in Cliffside Park.

On March 31, a false report of an armed intruder led police to lockdown a school in Holmdel. And on March 28, police responded to a report of a hostage situation at a video game store in Clifton that turned out to be a hoax.


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