Repeat Swatting “Prank Call” Suspect Identified and Charged

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Detective Sergeant Paul Foley

Detective Sergeant Paul Foley

Paul Foley is a Detective Sergeant with the Halton Regional Police Services. He works in the District 2 Criminal Investigations Bureau.

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Between January 3, 2018, and February 17, 2018, the Halton Regional Police received six false emergency calls from an unidentified male requesting police and ambulance attendance (commonly referred to as Swatting). Swatting is a prank call to the police, but on a much more sophisticated level. A caller makes a false report to police that would dispatch numerous police and emergency resources to an on-going critical incident.

Summary of Swatting emergency calls:

  1. On January 3, 2018, the unidentified caller contacted ‘911’ requesting an ambulance. Both police and paramedics responded however no individual in need of medical attention was located.
  2. On January 13, 2018, the unidentified caller contacted ‘911’ requesting an ambulance. Police and paramedics responded however no individuals in need of medical attention were located.
  3. On January 26, 2018, the unidentified caller reported a knife fight involving four individuals was occurring in the area of T.A. Blakelock High School in Oakville. Significant emergency services including Frontline Officers, Paramedics, High School Liaison Officers, and the Criminal Investigations Bureau responded to the call. It was later determined to be false after a search of the area (including school grounds) failed to substantiate any of the complaint.
  4. On January 27, 2018, the unidentified caller reported a fight occurring between two individuals in front of the Oakville Library located at 1274 Rebecca Street, Oakville. Police and paramedics responded to the area however no disturbance was observed.
  5. On February 15, 2018, the unidentified caller requested an ambulance. Police and paramedics responded however no individual in need of medical attention was located. Three patrol officers responded to this call.
  6. On February 17, 2018, the unidentified caller once again requested an ambulance.

Fortunately, Halton Police investigators were able to identify and locate the unidentified caller inside a residence on Wendy Lane, Oakville. Three patrol officers and and two investigators spent over 9 hours investigating this call which led to the caller’s arrest.

“Cumulatively, these calls involved the response of over 20 frontline line police officers, plus dispatchers and communicators in our 911 centre who are all reserved for service to a variety of legitimate community needs. False reports like these carry rippling impacts on our community’s safety and well-being. The risk to citizens, businesses and in this case, students in a high school are significant. The only resources which weren’t wasted during this incident were the investigative ones used to identify and arrest the person responsible,” commented Deputy Duraiappah.

Oakville resident, Waqar GOHAR (37), was arrested and charged with:

  1. 6 counts of Provide False Information
  2. 2 counts of Public Mischief

Mr. GOHAR was held in custody pending a bail hearing.

Anyone who may have additional information concerning this investigation of Swatting can contact Halton Regional Police Detective Constable Autumn Mills at 905-825-4747 ext.: 2285. Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers “See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-477 (TIPS) or through the web at

Please be reminded that all persons charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


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