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Home invasion, hostage taking in St. Petersburg was hoax, police say

ST. PETERSBURG — A reported home invasion and hostage taking Saturday that drew a SWAT team, hostage negotiators and police helicopter ended with the arrest of a man on charges that he fabricated the whole thing.

Binh Nguyen, 35, of 3763 40th Ave. N was accused of filing a false police report and possession of drug paraphernalia.

St. Petersburg police responded about 9 a.m. to a report of shots fired near the house, owned by Nguyen's parents. After determining the house was in unincorporated Pinellas County, police called Pinellas sheriff's deputies, who cordoned off the area and evacuated neighbors.

The incident began when Nguyen knocked on a neighbor's door and asked him to call 911. Nguyen said armed men who broke into the house were holding his parents hostage, deputies said. The investigation was complicated by a language barrier, deputies said.

The SWAT team entered the house and determined it was a hoax, deputies said. Nguyen eventually admitted he was under the influence of prescription drugs and alcohol. Deputies found a crack pipe on him.

The Sheriff's Office says it will also make Nguyen pay $13,000 in response costs if he is convicted.

Home invasion, hostage taking in St. Petersburg was hoax, police say 10/16/10 [Last modified: Saturday, October 16, 2010 10:51pm]
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