Local home raided after prank homicide call

A local author and political candidate says his family was the victim of a dangerous prank that led to police breaking down their door over the holidays.

Paul Hoffman of Columbus says that he and his family were away in Wisconsin when he receive a call from a relative who is a Bartholomew County deputy that their house in Columbus had just been the victim of what is known as a “SWATing” attack. Hoffman says that officers knocked down their front door after receiving a spoofed call, claiming that someone had been murdered and a dangerous situation was unfolding in the home.


Lt. Matt Harris with the Columbus Police Department said this is the second such incident in Columbus in the last year. An earlier incident in June involved juveniles and an argument over a video game. He called the pranks extremely dangerous because officers have to take the calls seriously and respond not knowing what is actually going on. In the most recent case, officers entered the Hoffman’s home with weapons drawn.

Harris said the incident at the Hoffman home is still under investigation. Neither Hoffman nor Harris could identify a reason their home was targeted by the pranksters. Hoffman has run twice recently as a Democrat, unsuccessfully seeking seats on the county and city councils.