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Prosecutor: Man made swatting call to Ford plant in Claycomo so friend didn't have to go to work

Zachariah Peterson Mug.jpg
Clay County Prosecuting Attorney Zachary Thompson
Posted at 5:37 PM, Jul 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-19 18:43:00-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Prosecutors say the man accused of making a swatting call that triggered an evacuation at Ford's Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo Tuesday night made the call so his friend didn't have to go to work.

Zachariah A. Peterson, 19, is charged with making a terroristic threat, a class D felony, Clay County Prosecuting Attorney Zachary Thompson said.

Thompson said Peterson made the call for the purpose of causing an evacuation.

Peterson allegedly said he was armed with an AK-47 and a pound of C-4 explosives strapped to his chest, all so his friend didn't have to go to work.

"When someone makes a call like that, they pull law enforcement officers away from their duties, keeping our community safe," Thompson said. "In Clay County, we treat this type of crime with the seriousness it deserves."

Thompson said there was no immediate indication that Peterson's friend was in on his plan.

Peterson made the call about 5:20 p.m. and caused dozens of law enforcement agents to respond to the plant.

Operations were stopped for the night as authorities searched the 6,000,000-square-foot facility for about six hours. About 2,200 employees were evacuated.

Thompson said Peterson was arrested in Independence and faces up to seven years in prison and fine of up to $10,000.