LAWRENCEVILLE - A camouflaged SWAT team with massive guns, a dozen police cruisers and swarms of Gwinnett police crowded quaint Nuptial Lane in Lawrenceville on Friday morning, evoking the sense of extreme danger nearby.
It was much ado about, apparently, nothing.
The SWAT team was activated after Hector Rivera-Condado, 31, called 911 to report gunmen had kidnaped his roommate and were holding the man hostage in his attic, police said. Investigators later combed the home but found no evidence to support Rivera-Condado's abduction claims.
Why would anyone construct such a grandiose lie?
Police, who reportedly found a small amount of cocaine in his possession, said Rivera-Condado was possibly feeling the psychological punch of narcotics.
"At this time, we don't know what his mental capacity is ... his sobriety is under question," said Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. David Schiralli at the scene. "It seems his judgment was impaired at the time he made the allegations."
The first version of those allegations started about 4 a.m. Friday.
Rivera-Condado, who rents rooms to two adult males, allegedly said armed men broke into his home about 4 a.m. and kidnapped one of his roommates, only to return shortly after.
Rivera-Condado stated he locked himself in his bedroom when the gunmen returned; when he exited an hour later, he claimed to have seen both gunmen holding the roommate hostage in his attic - at which point he bolted outside and called 911, Schiralli said.
Police officers arrived about 7 a.m. and, when they got no response from anyone inside the home, called in the SWAT team as a precaution. SWAT officers later entered the home but found no one, Schiralli said.
One roommate was home at the time police arrived but said nothing to corroborate the abduction claims, police said.
Schiralli said investigators had yet to locate the third tenant by Friday afternoon - hindering, for now, an additional charge against Rivera-Condado of false statements - though it's likely he was at work.
"(He) was changing his story every 10 minutes," Schiralli said, "so it's probably safe to say no crime occurred."