This popular internet prank becoming dangerous, expensive - Los Angeles
Celebrities in the LA area have been targeted by pranksters.
Sophisticated pranksters are endangering the lives of several Hollywood celebrities and costing area law enforcement thousands with a new prank known as "swatting."
Swatting results in armed, emergency responses to the homes of unsuspecting victims and is both expensive and dangerous.
The prank involves a 911 call disguised to appear to 911 operators as if it originated from within the victim's home. The caller, with their voice disguised, sometimes as a woman's, will say they are tied up or locked up in the house. This elicits a heavily-armed police response.
Those responses have already cost the city tens of thousands of dollars per call and some officers have been injured while responding.
They also put the celebrity and any bystanders in a hazardous situation because police must assume that a crisis situation exists and respond appropriately, often prepared to use deadly force.
Unfortunately, the laws in California do not adequately address these pranks either.
Swatting originated on the internet as a prank that angry gamers might play on each other to exact revenge for a perceived wrong. Now it is becoming a dangerous, almost regular occurrence.
In other states, police have responded to such calls and even arrested the innocent victims inside until they could uncover the hoax.
Very few people have been caught and fewer still prosecuted.
Local police warn that the prank is very serious and potentially deadly. In the event of an accident, the prankster could face very severe penalties including felony charges.
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Internet, prank, swatting, LAPD, SWAT
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More U.S. News
- Gay youths to be allowed to join Boy Scouts: Controversy rages
- Bridge that collapsed in Washington State was structurally unsound
- 12,000 homes damaged or destroyed in Moore, daunting road to recovery underway
- Eric Garcetti becomes Los Angeles' first Jewish mayor
- Violent Tsarnev friend killed by FBI after blaming Tamerlan for unsolved murders
- Homeless man whose face was eaten away in cannibal attack recovering
- Priests for Life: Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act Most Significant Legislative Step Forward
- In the Wake of the Moore Tornado: What Can we Learn from the Disaster?
- US Supreme Court Accepts Religion Case: Will Legislative Prayer Survive Religious Censorship?
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?