SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

November 20, 2013

Police probe hoax emergency report

By Neil H. Dempsey
Staff Writer

---- — BEVERLY — Police say a false report of an emergency involving a firearm brought every available officer to a Herrick Street address on Monday night — and that the incident could be related to a spate of hoax calls earlier this month.

A man identifying himself as “Anthony Ortiz” phoned police about 11:30 p.m. to report that a “white male had just put a gun to the back of an Indian-looking female and dragged her into 35 Herrick St.,” according to the incident log.

“All units sent to area,” police wrote.

Officers found nothing suspicious after arriving on scene, and the call was determined to be a hoax, Officer Mike Boccuzzi said in an email yesterday.

“It has not been determined, nor has it been ruled out, that these calls may be related to the Hale Street calls,” he wrote.

Police and firefighters responded to 435 Hale St. three times over the course of the weekend of Nov. 2 and Nov. 3., the first time after a report that a 39-year-old woman wasn’t breathing, the second for a residential fire with entrapment and the third for another residential fire.

Emergency personnel found nothing amiss any of the times, and police determined that the calls were likely meant to harass somebody at that address.

Boccuzzi said at the time that it had been difficult for police to trace the calls, as they’d apparently been made through Skype, an online communication service.