PARIS (AP) — A 16-year-old boy was detained on Monday as part of an investigation into a hoax hostage alert that prompted a major police intervention at a church in the center of the French capital, the Paris prosecutor’s spokeswoman said.
Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre identified the suspect to the AP only by his first name, Dylan, and said he had just turned 16. But she could not give further details about the boy linked to Saturday’s hoax.
Police dispatched a helicopter and barricaded the area around the Saint-Leu church in the Les Halles neighborhood Saturday afternoon, and activated a special app-based public alert system created after deadly attacks in Paris last year. The Interior Ministry later said it was a false alarm.
Obs magazine reported that it had reached two people who boasted online of staging the hoax in a case of so-called “swatting,” where hoaxers make anonymous threats to trigger a response from police and SWAT teams.