King: Caller says murder occurred on Hoyt St., but it was all a hoax

An incident that demanded a SWAT Team response turned out to be a complete hoax, and thankfully, not a soul was injured despite initial reports of a homicide, the Chief of the Kearny Police Department George King told The Observer today.

Here’s what happened, according to King, on Friday night, Feb. 22, at around 9:30 p.m.:

The Kearny Police Department received a phone call from a person reporting that he had murdered a person at a residence on Hoyt Street — and that he would kill anyone who came to the residence.

Members of the KPD, who are also attached to the Hudson County SWAT Team, responded and secured the area as additional police resources responded and were deployed.

“The recently formed Hudson County SWAT Team did respond very quickly,” the chief said. “We were able to make contact with a resident of the home and as information was developed, it began to seem like a hoax call. The county SWAT team did make entry to the home and it was confirmed that this incident was a hoax ‘swatting’ call.”

No one was murdered — nor was anyone so much as injured.

King says it was fortunate there were no injuries or damage to the home. He says the residents who lived in the Hoyt Street location were understandably “shaken up by this,” despite the positive outcome.

“I have to commend the professionalism of the Hudson County SWAT Team as well as the response of the KPD,” King said. “It was extremely good police work all the way around.”

The chief says these sorts of hoaxes — where serious but false crimes requiring a SWAT response are reported to police — are becoming “more and more common and can be very dangerous to everyone involved — from the responding officers to the residents, neighbors and innocent bystanders. I am not sure what the attraction is, but I hope we don’t see this again.”

It is not immediately clear who made the false emergency call.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, an organization he has served since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook, and X, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to Kearny to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.