Remember a more innocent age where kids would prank people by ordering unwanted pizzas to their door? Today’s equivalent is a lot more dangerous: “Swatting” — fake 911 calls that send SWAT teams on false alarms to the homes of celebrities.
Last month, the LAPD arrested a juvenile they believed was behind a rash of “swatting” incidents, hoping that would put a stop to the phenomenon. Sadly, it didn’t.
Kris Kardashian Jenner and Bruce Jenner | It wouldn’t be the first time this celebrity couple’s home hosted a raucous scene — but on Friday, January 18, the Kardashian/Jenner home in Hidden Hills was set upon by unannounced guests: a gaggle of LA sheriff’s deputies.
At roughly 4:40 pm, armed police were called out to the scene after a report of an assault at the home of Reality TV’s first family. Police searched the home, but found nothing untoward — and soon left, after posing for a photo with Olympian Bruce Jenner.
Kris and Bruce’s 17-year-old saughter, Kendall Jenner, posted the light-hearted photo calling the police visit “just another casual Friday night.”
The “star” of the clan, sextape siren and soon-to-be mommy to Kanye West’s progeny, Kim Kardashian took a harder line in a tweet: “These prank calls are NOT funny! People can get arrested for this! I hope they find out who is behind this. Its dangerous & not a joke!”
Tom Cruise | On Thursday morning, police raided action movie star Tom Cruise’s home in Beverly Hills when they received a 11:51 am call describing an armed robbery occurring at the home. Beverly Hills police arrived in force, but found no one home — and no robbery. The BHPD later released a statement: ”No emergency was discovered. Neither Mr. Cruise nor his family were home when the emergency was reported. Beverly Hills Police Department Detectives will be investigating the incident as a crime due to the false report”.
Miley Cyrus | On August 1, 2012, police surrounded the home of teen sensation Miley Cyrus with guns drawn on the lookout for hostages. A 911 call had claimed shots had been fired in the home by a home-invading would-be kidnapper.
In fact, no one was home and the dozen or so police and firefighters went home without incident — or meeting the “Party in the USA” singer.
Simon Cowell | Cowell angered many with his caustic review of wannabe stars on American Idol and X Factor — so when police got word that the TV judge had been bound and gagged in his own home, they took it seriously.
But when police arrived at Cowell’s Beverly Hills home on Nov. 25, 2012, Cowell himself greeted them at the door — perhaps at an uncharacteristic loss for words — and sent the SWAT team home.
Justin Bieber | There was a man stalking the premises, brandishing a gun — so police scrambled to the Calabasas mansion they later learned belonged to the Canadian pop idol.
The Beeb was out of town on tour and the gun-waving fanatic was deemed to be a hoax by the heavily-armed SWAT team on the scene.
Ashton Kutcher | No stranger to pranks, the “Punk’d” creator Ashton Kutcher, was still unprepared for a police raid of his own home. On October 3, 2012, police dispatched to his Lake Hollywood residence to save a woman hiding in a closet from an armed intruder.
What police found at the house was not a scared woman or a gun-toting criminal, but a few houseworkers. The star was working on the set of “Two and a Half Men”, from which he soon tweeted: “Safe an sound at two and a half men”
Adam Carolla | Does it qualify as “swatting” when the call comes from your own home alarm system? That’s what happened to comedian Adam Carolla in June 2012, when heavily armed police crashed onto his property in response to a panic button call.
Carolla had to explain that he’d pressed the wrong button while setting the alarm — and then didn’t hear the phone ring when the alarm system people called the house to confirm, thus sending the distress alert to police.