Mountain View Voice

News - October 1, 2010

Hoax call closes downtown street

by Nick Veronin

Officers descended upon the 800 block of Villa Street Monday afternoon after receiving a call from a man who claimed to have shot a woman and who insisted that he would fire on any officers who pursued him, Mountain View police said.

However, after closing a portion of Villa Street and combing the area for the gunman, who had said he was hiding in a Dumpster, police found nothing out of the ordinary. They now believe that the caller may have been a prankster, on drugs, mentally disturbed or perhaps all three, according to police spokeswoman Liz Wylie.

"The person was clearly a confused individual," Wylie said of the caller, who phoned police at 12:31 p.m. to say that he had shot a woman and that she needed medical attention. He told police that he and the woman he had shot were in a Dumpster on the 800 block of Villa Street. But over the course of the phone call, which lasted until just before 3 p.m., the man gave conflicting statements about his location, at one point telling police that he was out of state.

"It started to become apparent that he was not downtown with a gun," Wylie said. "There were a lot of things he said that didn't make any sense."

Police are still working with AT&T in an attempt to trace the source of the call, she said.

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