Zeeland Police said they were "swatted" last week when someone called in a bogus break-in, saying two masked men were in a house on Huizenga Avenue. The caller said they'd heard shots and screams.
More than a dozen police officers from three departments rushed to the house, only to find out it was a hoax.
On the way to the April 15 emergency call, a sergeant with the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department was involved in a crash at the intersection of Lakewood Boulevard and 120th Avenue in Holland Township. His car hit a vehicle in the intersection, which then hit two other cars.
The owner of the home told police that he didn't have any idea what was going on until he was informed of the call. Police said there is no indication the homeowner was involved in the prank.
"It might seem harmless and funny to the prankster, but they are putting a lot of people at risk, absolutely," Zeeland Police Chief Bill Olney said. "The response by the patrol officers in their vehicles, the response by the officers once they get there, the danger that's created on highways and to the neighbors in the immediate area."
Because the prankster called the police station and not 911, Olney said they don't have a recording of the call. Detectives are working with phone companies to identify the suspect. They do know he's male.
If they catch him, Olney said the man could face felony charges and jail time.