City News Service

Teen's Fake Armed Home Invasion Story Falls Apart When Officers Examine Bullet Hole in Apartment Door

The bullet hole indicated the round was fired from inside the apartment, not outside as the boy claimed

A 17-year-old boy was arrested after allegedly firing a gun in his Woodland Hills apartment and calling 911 to falsely report that three men had tried to force their way in, police said Thursday.

Officers went to the residence in the 21000 block of Erwin Street about 4:20 p.m. Wednesday after the teen called 911, said Los Angeles police Capt. Paul Vernon of the Topanga Station.

"This is one of the hottest calls an officer can respond to," Vernon said. "Officers responded with lights and siren and the helicopter was overhead quickly, but there were no suspects."

Vernon said officers determined that the 17-year-old caller, whose mother was out of town, was safe and home alone.

"His story that three black men had tried to force their way into his third floor apartment ... was made up," Vernon said. "The caller's initial report to 911 said the suspects had fired one bullet through the door, into the apartment.

"Officers were immediately suspicious about the boy's story when they realized the bullet hole in the door had come from the inside out -- not the outside in, as the boy had claimed."

Detectives obtained a search warrant for the apartment and seized cannabis and found evidence of a firearm, Vernon said.

"Officers soon found a .380 Glock handgun in the bushes, below the balcony of the boy's apartment," Vernon said.

The teen was arrested on suspicion of illegal discharge of a firearm, and he was taken to Sylmar Juvenile Hall, Vernon said. Vernon said the boy's mother may also face charges of child endangerment for leaving an unsecured firearm in a residence with a minor child.

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