Police in Palo Alto, Calif., Received a phone call Tuesday night from a man who allegedly claimed to be a Facebook leader who shot his wife and held hostages at his home. A quick intervention team arrived at the scene and finally determined that the executive was a victim of a hoax.
According to a press release issued by the city of Palo Alto, a police police officer received the call Tuesday around 9 pm, from a blocked number. The appellant claimed that he had shot his wife, tied his children and that he had several homemade bombs in his possession. He warned that any police who would try to intervene would be harmed.
The Daily Post in Palo Alto met with police officer Marianna Villaescusa, who explained that the caller had used the name of a cybersecurity officer on Facebook. A team of police officers and crisis negotiators quickly arrived at the executive's home and used a loudspeaker to ask him out. The confused victim complied with the request and explained that she did not understand what was happening. After the police handcuffed the man and an unidentified woman who were present at the scene, they searched the residence and determined that the call was a hoax.
Palo Alto police told Gizmodo that she could not immediately confirm Villaescusa's claim that the victim was a Facebook officer. Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, Ars Technica indicated that the company had proposed the following statement.
"We thank the city of Palo Alto for its quick and thoughtful response. They quickly identified this as a joke and we are happy that our colleague and his family are safe. "
According to Villaescusa's account, the hoax remained in line with the police until 22:02 and the police were not able to determine his identity.
Villaescusa, who works as a negotiator for the department, said there have been several large-scale incidents in the region over the last 18 months. More recently, a fraudster has targeted a "leading personality in the world of cryptocurrency," according to the Daily Post.
Appealing to false emergencies in order to send a massive police presence to a victim's home is an extremely dangerous crime. Victims have been murdered by police officers in the past.
We asked Facebook if he is aware of the caller's mobile and will update it as soon as we receive an answer.
[Palo Alto Police Department, Daily Post via Ars Technica]