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Sault man arrested in Florida 'swatting' investigation

Local 20-year-old is accused of phoning 911 to report multiple fake emergencies in Marion County, triggering significant police responses that weren't necessary

A local man has been arrested in connection with numerous “swatting” incidents in the United States — an increasingly prevalent crime in which someone phones 911 to report a fake emergency. 

Police allege a Sault man made dozens of anonymous calls to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office in Ocala, Florida, triggering a heavy police response — that wasn’t necessary — multiple times. 

On one occasion, at around 4 p.m. on Feb. 16, someone called 911 to say they were driving to a local school with a gun to shoot students and staff. 

“Marion County Sheriff officers responded with a significant police presence to protect public safety,” says a news release issued Friday afternoon by the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service. “After a thorough investigation officers determined there was no immediate threat to public safety.”

The next day, at around 5:30 a.m., police say the same person called the sheriff’s office to say they were holding a victim hostage at gunpoint. Again, the caller was lying.

“Responding officers secured the residence and determined all occupants were safe and there was not someone being held hostage,” the news release says.

Authorities in Marion County contacted Sault Police on March 18 to tell them about the calls. 

“Through a joint investigation it was determined the accused had made dozens of false calls to the Marion Country Sheriff’s Office regarding someone the accused knows in their jurisdiction,” the news release states.

On Wednesday, investigators arrested the suspect at his residence.

William Tuckett is charged with:

• Public Mischief x3
• Conveying False Information x3

He was held in custody pending a bail hearing and subsequently released with conditions. He is scheduled back in court on April 22.

None of the allegations have been tested in court and Tuckett is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.