Hoax 911 call targets Erickson

pramati@macon.comMay 30, 2012 

Conservative political pundit and former Macon City Councilman Erick Erickson was the victim Sunday of a hoax in which a prank caller phoned 911 and reported gunshots at Erickson’s home.

Erickson, a commentator for CNN and a columnist for The Telegraph, said Wednesday that he is the third political pundit to be the victim of “swatting,” in which a prank caller calls law enforcement claiming that shots have been fired at the victim’s home.

In the previous two cases, Erickson said, police SWAT teams showed up at the victims’ homes after midnight with weapons drawn.

Erickson said there’s a possibility that all three cases are related, since the other two pundits have also written recent commentaries about activist Brett Kimberlin, who was convicted for a series of bombings in Speedway, Ind., in 1978 and later paroled.

Erickson said he has written pieces about Kimberlin on his Redstate.org blog and spoken about him on his WSB radio show.

“I really don’t know,” he said. “It could be a copycat. All I know is that the (Bibb County) D.A.’s office is looking into it.”

Erickson said when he heard about the previous two hoaxes, he preemptively called the sheriff’s office to let them know that he might be a target.

“On Sunday, sure enough, it happened to me,” he said.

But because the sheriff’s office had been forewarned, a single squad car was sent to Erickson’s home to investigate rather than a full SWAT team.

“A friend of mine in L.A., his wife and kids were dragged out of bed at gunpoint at 1 a.m.,” Erickson said.

Erickson said he gets death threats fairly regularly, but is upset that the prank call could have put his family in danger. He noted the deputies who responded did so in a calm manner.

To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.

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