Melbourne man accused of making ‘swatting’ call to woman’s home

INDIAN HARBOUR BEACH, Fla. — A Melbourne man is in the Brevard County jail, accused of calling in a false report that prompted a large police response at a frightened woman’s home.


Indian Harbour Beach police officers responded to a local home just before 6:30 p.m. Friday for a “suspicious incident.”

Police say a caller, later identified as 52-year-old Shawn Schneider, told dispatchers that someone was being held hostage at gunpoint there.

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Due to the severe nature of the call, officers arrived with handguns and rifles drawn as they began to clear the home.

Police say they made contact with the female resident of the home, who appeared to be “startled and distraught” but was otherwise unharmed.

Police say the victim explained that she was fine and that no one was at the home with her. According to police, the victim said she initially didn’t want to answer the door, believing Schneider would be outside.

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The reporting officer noted law enforcement had another encounter at the home around 1 a.m. that day for a similar call reporting a hostage situation.

Later Friday, police say Schneider contacted law enforcement himself and asked to meet up to provide more information about the incident.

According to the police department, Schneider admitted to calling dispatch anonymously and providing the false report.

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Schneider was subsequently arrested and booked into the Brevard County jail for making a false report. He remains there on a total of $5,500 bond.

Police noted that while they were preparing Schneider for transport to the jail, he began to “verbally and physically” resist the officers’ efforts to put him in handcuffs and leg restraints, saying he wanted to die and kill officers, earning him an additional charge of resisting an officer without violence.

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