SACRAMENTO -- Just days after hoax 911 calls were made involving the homes of Justin Timberlake, Rihanna and Sean Combs, state lawmakers acted Tuesday to advance a bill creating heavy financial penalties for those making false calls known as "swatting."
On Friday, the LAPD responded to calls of shots being fired at Timberlake’s Hollywood Hills home but found no evidence to back the report, indicating he is a victim of a prank call.
On Tuesday, the state Senate Public Safety Committee voted unanimously to approve a bill by Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) to make those convicted of such false calls responsible for paying restitution for the cost of the police response, which can be in the thousands of dollars.
"It is both a danger and a drain on law enforcement resources,’’ Lieu told the committee, which sent the bill to a committee on finances.
Police arriving with guns drawn could end up running into armed private security at homes of celebrities, Lieu said. “The result of this, sooner or later, is going to be injury or death,’’ he said.