Police in San Diego surrounded a home in Sherman Oaks on Tuesday morning after a Domino’s employee tipped them off to what was believed to be a hostage situation.
The employee had earlier called 911 after receiving a message – via the Domino’s mobile ordering app – that suggested a person was being held hostage in a home in the neighborhood.
Officers arrived wearing tactical gear, per KNSD, and removed “several” people from the home, including one who was slapped with handcuffs.
Police say they ultimately found no signs of a hostage situation, nor did the residents know anything of a message made via the Domino’s app. Authorities are now investigating whether the incident was the result of deliberate “swatting,” or an attempt to prank or harass another party by fraudulently directing armed police to their residence.
A representative for the San Diego Police Department was not immediately available to confirm the circumstances behind the incident, or whether a suspect had been identified. Domino’s did not immediately respond to a request for comment either.
In the past, pizzerias have in fact been contacted for help amid hostage situations. In July, a 32-year-old woman who was being held against her will in a New Mexico home was able to alert a Domino’s employee to her plight. And in 2015, a woman in Florida used the Pizza Hut app to alert local authorities that her boyfriend was holding her hostage.
Calling in a fake report, however, can have serious consequences. Earlier this year, a man in California was sentenced to 20 years in prison after falsely reporting a shooting and kidnapping at the Kansas home of a man he quarreling with over “Call of Duty.” Police arrived at the address — which did not belong to either gamer — leading to the fatal shooting of another unarmed man.