Clayton Police arrested a 25-year-old woman on Sunday after she called 911 with a false report that her step-father had shot her mother in the head.
Rebecca Lawrence Priest called Johnston County 911 around 11:30 a.m. on August 11th, telling dispatchers that her mother’s husband had shot her mom inside their E. Hamby Street in Downtown Clayton.
Priest was calling from a different address and told the dispatcher she thought her step-father was now coming to kill her too.
Clayton Police, Johnston County sheriff’s deputies, Clayton firefighters and Johnston County EMS personnel all responded to the home. Officers found that no one was at the E. Hamby Street address.
So officers then drove to an address on Lake Drive where the 911 call came from. They were able to question Priest and request that she call her mother to make sure she was ok.
Officers spoke with her mother who stated that she and her husband were at the coast fixing up their beach home and were fine.
“This sounds eerily similar to some ‘swatting’ incidents I have been called to in my career,” Clayton Police Chief Blair Myhand told JoCoReport. “And, like in so many of the other cases, people are put in considerable danger. Imagine if an Officer used deadly force based on an alleged crime that we later determine to be completely false. Calling 911 and intentionally lying about any crime can put people in danger; both the responding officers and the public who are just going about their daily routines. Law enforcement treats false reports as serious as the alleged crime because of the dangers association with the misuse of public safety.”
Priest was arrested for filing a false police report and confined under a $25,000 bond in the Johnston County Jail.
This is not her first run in with Clayton Police. In April 2019, Priest allegedly stole merchandise from the Super 10 store on Lombard Street. She got into her car and while trying to flee from the parking lot struck a column in front of the business. Witnesses said Priest fell out of her car scraping herself on the asphalt. Police arrived and reportedly found the stolen goods in her vehicle along with prescription narcotics. She was charged with possession of a controlled substance and shoplifting.