Police believe ‘swatting’ hoax caused American Legion Highway closure

A call for a barricaded person in a Roslindale home Thursday—which shut down both lanes of traffic on American Legion Highway—is being investigated as a “swatting’’ hoax, according Boston police spokesman David Estrada.

Police received the call around 3:50 p.m. Once arriving and securing the area, police did not find anyone at the location, Estrada said.

“Swatting’’ is a hoax in which someone calls in to law enforcement a false report of an active shooter, or hostage situation to evoke an emergency response, and possibly a SWAT team, to an unsuspecting person’s home.

Currently, federal law prohibits fabricating reports of bomb threats or terrorist attacks, but lacks provisions for false claims regarding other types of emergencies.

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“The department will do any means necessary to prevent these kinds of hoax situations from happening, and keep people safe,’’ Estrada said.

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