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Hoax Wildcat Canyon Sighting of Dorner May Result in Charges

An L.A. Times blog reported that San Diego authorities may press charges after a false tip of a Dorner sighting Thursday night near Ramona.

The L.A. Times reported Friday that San Diego authorities are looking at possible charges after receiving a reported sighting of fugitive ex-police officer Christopher Dorner near Ramona that turned out to be a hoax.

Patch reported on the incident early Friday morning, saying that a person called 911 to report seeing someone matching Dorners description just after 10 p.m. Thursday at a home off of Wildcat Canyon Road in the Lakeside/Ramona area.

Deputies had a hard time confirming the tip and were still on scene investigating after 3 a.m. Friday doing “due diligence,” Lt. James Rothlein said, but ultimately determined that the tip was no good.

“We don’t have any information to substantiate the legitimacy of the initial call. ... At this point, it doesn’t look like Dorner was ever there. The legitmacy of the call is in question,” Rothlein said in the Patch article.

The L.A. Times said investigators were able to “come up with some very good information” about the person responsible for the call, Rothlein said, and they plan to review the matter for possible charges.

Rothlein said there were a variety of options for charges, including obstruction of justice and falsely reporting an emergency, according to the L.A. publication.

The article mentioned that authorities could also look to charges filed in connection with “swatting” incidents, the prank calls made to draw heavy police response.

“There’s a particular sensitivity here. Obviously it’s not something we can go and overlook,” Rothlein said to the Times. “Having a waste of resources over a hoax ... is a horrible waste of our time.”

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