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Man calls 911 to report fake shooting to get out of traffic citations, police say

A man who police believe called 911 to report a shooting inside of a Wal-Mart just to get out of a traffic ticket Thursday later barricaded himself inside his home.
A man who police believe called 911 to report a shooting inside of a Wal-Mart just to get out of a traffic ticket Thursday later barricaded himself inside his home.
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LOGAN — A man who allegedly called 911 to report a shooting inside a Wal-Mart just to get out of a ticket and another traffic citation Thursday later barricaded himself inside his home, police said.

The bizarre incident began about 1:45 p.m. near Wal-Mart, 1150 S. Main, when an officer pulled over a motorist for a broken tail light, according to Logan police. During the traffic stop, police say the man gave the officer false information.

At some point during the traffic stop, the man was able to call 911 and claim there was a "man with a gun, yelling he was going to shoot” inside the nearby Wal-Mart, according to a statement from Logan police.

The man made the call after the police officer returned to his patrol car, said Logan Police Chief Gary Jensen.

As soon as that call was dispatched, the officer who had made the traffic stop hurried over to the nearby Wal-Mart, leaving the driver, police said. The Cache County Sheriff's Office and Utah Highway Patrol also responded to the call.

"These kinds of calls demand an all-unit response," including detectives and patrol officers, Jensen said. "We're deploying for a worst-case scenario, of course."

It didn't take long for officers to realize the call was a hoax and trace the number used to make the call back to the driver. Police went to the man's house in Nibley, where he had nailed his front door shut and initially refused to talk to police, Jensen said.

The man surrendered shortly before 5 p.m. after eventually speaking with negotiators and shortly before a K-9 officer was to be sent into his home. His name wasn't immediately released.

Aside from not wanting a traffic ticket, the man created the diversion because he didn't want contact from police about a previous offense of driving on a suspended license, according to Jensen.

Contributing: Pat Reavy

Email: blockhart@deseretnews.com

Twitter: benlockhartnews