'Swatting' prank scares Beaverton man - KPTV - FOX 12

'Swatting' prank scares Beaverton man

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BEAVERTON, OR (KPTV) -

A normal day turned terrifying Wednesday when a Beaverton man opened his front door to find officers in SWAT gear pointing guns.

"I was really hoping nobody shot me,” Matthew Jarbo said. “I fell down to my knees I was like --hands up-- I didn't know what to do."

Jarbo is the latest victim in a prank dubbed ‘Swatting.’ Someone called dispatch and reported Jarbo was threatening his family with a gun, razors and had strapped a bomb on a child.

He said he was making a YouTube video at his apartment at the corner of SW Murray and Farmington when he heard a pounding on his door shortly before 3 p.m.

"So I went over and walked out my door to check. As I rounded the corner there was an officer in full swat gear basically pointing a weapon in my direction,” Jarbo said.

While he was stunned, Jarbo said it’s not necessarily something new.

"This is a thing.” Jarbo said. “People do it for fun.”

It’s becoming more frustrating for Oregon law enforcement, as they’ve seen a recent spike in these fake calls. Earlier this week, Lebanon Police responded to a house after someone claimed there was a shooting. Responding officers found nobody was home.

Last month FOX 12 interviewed a man in Forest Grove who said he too, was hit with the prank.

Beaverton Police said the prank calls tie up resources and can be dangerous for all involved. More troubling, they said pranksters are hard to track down. They don’t expect to catch the person who reported the crime at Jarbo’s house because the individual could be living in any country.

Jarbo said he believes he’s a greater target because he make internet videos full-time and has a large web presence. He said he got in a Twitter argument Wednesday morning and thinks the prank could have stemmed from that.

"I pity them more than I'm mad at them,” Jarbo said. “They're just sad people"

During the ordeal Jarbo’s apartment was searched, neighbors were told to stay inside and Farmington Road was shutdown briefly.  

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