COMMERCE TOWNSHIP, MI – On Sunday July 22nd, 2018, at 7:15AM, Oakland County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the Proud Lake Camp Ground located in 2700 block of Glengary Road on the report of a victim who had just been sexually assaulted at one of the camp sites and was now running from the area for help.
The caller indicted that the suspect had fled the scene and told her not to call 9-1-1 for help. The victim had called a non-emergency number into the Sheriff’s Operations Center and advised that she had suffered a stab wound on the her leg by a knife that the assailant had threatened her with.
The victim also stated that she did not know her attacker and that she was walking on a nearby trail. The victim did not know her specific location. The victim’s cell phone connection was lost. Dispatchers attempted to have the cell phone “pinged” by the cell phone service provider. The cell phone was a WI-FI only type phone and was unable to be “pinged”.
The victim then called back the non-emergency number and continued to provide information to the call takers. The victim was told to hang up, and call back using 9-1-1 so that her current location could be triangulated so Deputies could locate her. The caller refused to call back on a 9-1-1 line. The call was again lost. She did not call back and did not answer the phone on call back from dispatch.
Deputies, the Commerce Township Fire Department and Rangers from the Proud Lake Camp Ground conducted a thorough search of the campground property. An off-road vehicle was brought in by the Commerce Township Fire Department as well as off-road trail riding vehicles by Camp Ground personnel. Pedestrian trails, boat launches, parked motor vehicles, camp sites and multiple cabins were checked but the victim was not located.
Information that was received was that the victim’s cell phone had a 616 area code and that her number was returning to the west side of the state, possibly the Berrien Springs area per the service provider.
Personnel conducting the ground search were satisfied that the call was a hoax and discontinued their area search.
Detectives are following up as this incident but it is believed to be a “swatting” incident. Authorities are trying to locate the caller.
Swatting is the action or practice of making a prank call to emergency services in an attempt to bring about the dispatch of a large number of armed police officers to a particular address or location. Making false reports to emergency services is a criminal offense, punishable by fines and imprisonment.
It causes money and tax dollars to be wasted by the city or county when responding to a false report of a serious law enforcement emergency.