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Bill cracking down on 'swatting' sent to Gov. Jerry Brown

August 23, 2013|By Phil Willon

Among the slew of bills passed this week by the Legislature and on way to the governor is one to crack down on the dangerous prank known as “swatting” -- making a false 911 call with the intention of drawing out heavily armed SWAT teams, often to the homes of celebrities.

Under the bill by Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), those convicted of the offense would be responsible for the full cost of the police response, which would typically run more than $10,000.

“Swatting drains vital resources from law enforcement and puts officers and citizens in dangerous situations,” Lieu said. “To those who engage in this dangerous practice, be aware this is not a game and you will be held responsible for all associated costs.”

Earlier this year, someone called police with a false report of domestic violence and a possible shooting at the Hollywood Hills home of singer Chris Brown, who was not there at the time. There also was a false report of shots fired at the home of actor Tom Cruise, prompting a Beverly Hills police SWAT team to surround the home.

Others believed to have been targets of swatting incidents in the last year include singer Justin Bieber, actor Ashton Kutcher, "The X Factor" judge Simon Cowell, singer Miley Cyrus and the Kardashian-Jenner family.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca asked for the measure.


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Twitter: @philwillon

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