DELTON, Florida. – The Delton couple and their friend were the victims of a fake 911 call that led MPs to believe they were involved in Monday’s hostage situation.
Volusia County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to 518 Gondolier Ter. around 10:15 p.m. after a call from a man who claimed to be living in the house.
The man said he had just shot his wife and planned to burn down the house with the children inside, deputies said.
Upon arrival, police escorted one of the people inside the house, Hunter Mgidi, 23, before conducting a search, the incident report said.
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The couple, 22-year-old Christopher Valentine and 21-year-old Caitlin Gorchitsa, said they were out on business, but their friend Mgidi called them and said deputies surrounded the house.
“I thought, ‘I don’t even live here.’ And I was scared because I was alone,” Mgidi said.
The video from the camera shows how the deputies are working to get Mgidi out of the house.
“Come here, right here. Come to me. Keep your hands up,” one of the deputies said in the video.
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Footage then showed Mgidi being handcuffed and telling deputies he was “completely baffled” as to why. The deputies replied: “We too.”
Mgidi said he was worried about being shot.
“The turf is a little uneven, so I was a little nervous because I was going to trip and make the wrong move, fall, and then someone was going to shoot me,” he said. “It definitely scared me, especially when my phone was in my hand and I was afraid that someone would misunderstand, for example, that it was emitting some kind of glare, and someone would think that it was not a phone.”
In the end, the deputies explained to him what had happened. The sheriff’s office said someone called 911 claiming that their wife had just been murdered in the house and their children had been tied up, threatening to set the house on fire.
Mustard and Valentin arrived at the scene to find the deputies searching their house but finding nothing. Mustard said they started renting it out a few weeks ago.
“No one from the New Jersey home knows our new address,” Mustard said. Only two people here know our address. So it’s very scary because it could be anyone.”
She said that they were not connected to streaming or the Internet so that someone could get information about their new address.
“We didn’t sleep. We are constantly on the edge. We always check our cameras, now we lock the doors. We feel like someone is following us,” she said.
MPs said the couple believed they knew who might have called, but no arrests have been made so far.
Volusia Sheriff Mike Chitwood said deputies usually see these fake calls in public places or hear threats against schools during the school year, but now they’re happening more to residents.
“These idiots who are calling either want to annoy the person they are calling or are hoping that the police or the landlord will make a fatal mistake,” Chitwood said.
He said dispatchers monitor the appearance of fake numbers and are trained to study where the call is coming from. Then they give the deputies heads.
“Don’t rush to the scene, collect as much information as possible. Dispatch does a phenomenal job of saying, “Hey, this is a call from a stupid number. Slow down,” he said.
As for the person who made that call on Monday, Chitwood said they have a few leads as to who the suspected caller might be. He said that once they were caught, not only would they be charged with a crime, but they would also have to bear the cost of the response.
“You did it to mess with us, target us, whatever, but you almost killed my friend,” Mustard said.
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