12-Year-Old Boy Arrested In Celebrity ‘Swatting’ Incidents
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A young boy was arrested for allegedly making bogus reports of violence at the homes of celebrities Justin Bieber and Ashton Kutcher.
The 12-year-old unidentified suspect was taken into custody at his parents’ Southern California home on Dec. 10, but was later released, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Officials believe the boy is responsible for a series of “swatting” incidents at high-profile homes, which involves calling 911 to report a crime with the intent of leading a SWAT team to the scene.
On Oct. 3, police responded to a call from someone at Kutcher’s Hollywood Hills home who said people were in the house with guns and explosives, and that several people were shot.
Officers received a report that someone fired shots and was threatening to harm police at Bieber’s home on Oct. 10.
Investigators determined both incidents were hoaxes.
Similar cases happened at the homes of Miley Cyrus and Simon Cowell, but they have not been linked to the juvenile suspect.
The LAPD said “swatting” costs tens of thousands of dollars per incident and could cost innocent people their lives.
“It’s fortunate that no one has been hurt or killed. That’s what our fear is,” said Lt. Andy Neiman. “We respond to one of these incidents where somebody says shots have been fired…and officers go in there…and unknowing victims come out. They’re surprised because the police are there. We’re very fortunate no one has been hurt.”
Prosecutors are deciding whether the boy should be charged, according to a spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office.