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Hostage hoax in Oak Lawn

Updated: August 26, 2014 6:42AM



Oak Lawn police are investigating whether an online gamer with a grudge against an Oak Lawn teen called in a false report of a hostage incident.

A call came into the police department’s non-emergency number about 10:20 a.m. Thursday, and the caller said three residents were being held hostage at a house in 5700 block of 90th Place, police said. They said the caller made ransom demands to police and threatened to harm the hostages.

Officers surrounded the house and notified neighbors of possible danger but found only a 19-year-old resident of the home, whom police awakened from sleep and who said he knew nothing about the phone call, according to police.

They said officers determined the incident was a hoax after speaking with the teen and searching the home.

Division Chief Roger Pawlowski said police are looking into the man’s Internet contacts and believe the hoax could have stemmed from his online gaming.

“We’re looking to see if someone has a grudge against the kid, someone he deals with on a regular basis,” Pawlowski said.

He said police do not believe that the caller was local and will try to determine where the call originated from.

Nick Swedberg



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