Phone call to Paxtonia Elementary may have been ‘swatting’

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Paxtonia Elementary may be the latest central Pennsylvania school targeted in a hoax known as “swatting.”

The school office this morning received a phone call with a pre-recorded message in which a general statement was made about causing harm to “people and children,” Central Dauphin spokeswoman Shannon Leib said.

A Lower Paxton Township police officer was in Paxtonia Elementary for an unrelated incident and witnessed part of the call, Leib said.

Lower Paxton police immediately sent additional officers, but the building was not locked down because parents were attending events at the school. Leib said all visitors had to provide identification when they entered the building and were subject to further scrutiny once inside.

Police officers remained at the school throughout the day, but no further incidents were reported.

According to a statement on the district’s website, the phone call apparently was part of national trend where a disguised phone call threatens violence so that SWAT teams respond.

Authorities are investigating similar phone calls in recent weeks to elementary schools in the Susquehanna Township and East Pennsboro school districts.

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