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June 13, 2012 | By Scott Collins
"Cake Boss"Buddy Valastro might want to stick a rolling pin his mouth - at least when it comes to making transgender jokes. TLC has pulled Monday's episode of the popular reality show set in a New Jersey bakery after Carmen Carrera - a transgender woman who has appeared on"RuPaul's Drag Race" and other shows - vehemently objected to how she was portrayed. Carrera said the producers lured her on to the show under false pretenses, making her believe she'd be a role model for transgendered persons when in fact she was used as part of a homophobic prank.
April 3, 2014 | By Kate Mather
April Fools? San Bernardino County deputies aren't laughing. Three men were arrested Tuesday after authorities allege they staged a carjacking at a Hesperia In-N-Out, apparently in an effort to play a prank on their friend. The joke gone wrong began shortly before 11 p.m. Tuesday, when a man standing inside the Bear Valley Road restaurant spotted his car speeding out of the parking lot, said Hesperia Sheriff's Station spokeswoman Susan Rose.  The man ran outside and found his friend on the ground, Rose said.
March 4, 2001
Re "Judge Voids Jury Verdict in Halloween-Prank Shooting" Feb. 24: Here are two definitions. A prank is something done to provoke laughter or amusement. A theft is an act of stealing. The first is playful and harmless; the second, a crime. These were not two little boys out having fun. They were both young men out intentionally hurting others for their own amusement. ROBERT SPENCER Westminster I have felt the fear of being at the mercy of teenagers who hunt in packs and think of themselves above the law. I have no tolerance for any kind of vandalism and would like to see the punishment for graffiti or petty theft handled as I understand it is in Indonesia or Singapore, with public flogging or public humiliation.
April 1, 2014 | By Amy Hubbard
Just in time for April Fools' Day, a new video shows how a Glendale shelter, with the help of a TV chef and others, pulled the wool over the eyes of the homeless. Their surprise was a filet mignon dinner in a fancy restaurant setting. "Feeding the Homeless -- Prank It FWD" is from and Greg Benson's MediocreFilms. Benson has worn many hats, including that of character actor. He's the man behind the popular " cellphone crashing" videos on YouTube. In those, Benson eavesdrops and insinuates himself into cellphone conversations.
August 2, 2012 | By August Brown
Miley Cyrus' Studio City home was the subject of a massive police raid Wednesday, allegedly prompted by a prank call. The singer and actress wasn't home at the time of the raid, which occurred after a 911 call came in at 6:50 p.m. reporting a kidnapping in progress with shots fired and one person hit. Officers responded and entered the home in the 11000 block of Amanda Drive with guns drawn, but quickly determined the call was a hoax. In the prank known as swatting, perpetrators place fake distress calls aimed at luring police SWAT teams to raid an unwitting victim's home.
October 3, 2012 | By Christie D'Zurilla
Ashton Kutcher is the latest famous name to be associated with a "swatting" - a malicious prank in which a seemingly serious distress call to police turns out to be a false alarm with a spoofed phone number, aimed at luring a SWAT team to swarm a particular location. Police hurried to Kutcher's Lake Hollywood home late Wednesday morning after a woman called police - more on that "call" later - and claimed to be hiding in a closet because there was an armed man inside the home, L.A. Now reported.
April 2, 2013 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO -- When news hit Monday that the California Supreme Court had created political turmoil by throwing out the state's new voting maps, the phone lines and email in-boxes of Sacramento operatives quickly whirred to life. It was indicative of the hair-trigger speed with which politics moves these days. So quickly, in fact, that the panicked politicos who immediately reached for their smartphones didn't realize they were the victims of an April Fool's Day joke. Longtime lobbyist and political observer Scott Lay included the fictional piece in his popular email newsletter, the Nooner.
June 26, 2013 | By Jasmine Elist
In the wake of a Los Angeles Times story exposing a casting prank pulled on a group of 30 young actresses, Breakdown Services, the parent company of Actors Access, has taken immediate steps to completely remove the project from its website. Most of the actresses who walked into what they thought to be an audition for a role in the feature film “May the Best Man Win” discovered the casting call on Actors Access. “The whole thing is disgusting," said Gary Marsh, founder of Breakdown Services.
January 22, 2013 | By Christie D'Zurilla
Same story, different celebrity: Chris Brown's house was the target Monday of an apparent "swatting" incident, in which police responded in force to a distress call that turned out to be fake. In this case, dispatchers were advised around 5 p.m. of a domestic violence situation - we're biting our tongue - in which the caller told police his parents were fighting and he wasn't sure if his mom had been shot, Los Angeles Police Department sources told L.A. Now and TMZ . When police arrived at the address, surprise, no gun, no fight, no nothing.
November 28, 2012 | By Deborah Netburn
Is scaring the living daylights out of someone hilarious or mean? You decide. Last week, the Brazilian hidden camera show "Programa Silvio Santos" aired clips of people screaming in terror at a ghostly girl in a broken elevator. The video was posted to YouTube, where it already has more than 7 million views and rising. Gawker, and several other news sources, have referred to it as possibly the scariest prank ever. The poor unsuspecting subjects enter an office building and are directed to the elevators by a friendly woman at the front desk.
February 26, 2014 | By Robert Faturechi
When Jim Hellmold decided to run for sheriff of Los Angeles County last month, he knew that one of the first things his campaign needed was a website. He figured would make the most sense. Except when he typed the address into his browser it took him to an already established site promoting one of his competitors: former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka. So he tried another: Again, he was directed to a site boosting Tanaka. “I was left with 'Hellmold-the-number-four-sheriff-dot-com,” the assistant sheriff said.
February 21, 2014 | By Dan Loumena, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
U.S. luge star Kate Hansen and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel pulled off a hoax -- a wolf supposedly walking down the hallway in a dorm at the Sochi Olympics -- that created a worldwide stir, but a spokesman for the International Olympic Committe took the prank in stride. Hansen allowed Kimmel to post the video on her Twitter account. It was actually a wolf wandering down a hallway that was fabricated at Kimmel's studio to look like the U.S. dorms at the Olympic Village in Sochi, Russia.
February 21, 2014 | By Patrick Kevin Day
Besides making average people walking down Hollywood Boulevard look like idiots, Jimmy Kimmel's other favorite target is the news media. And on Thursday night's show, he showed once again how he'd duped news and sports media outlets into running a story about a possible wolf wandering the halls of the Olympic village in Sochi, Russia. Using the Twitter account of U.S. Olympic luger Kate Hansen, Kimmel's team sent out a link to a YouTube video of what appeared to be a very large wolf wandering the halls outside Hansen's room.
December 30, 2013 | By Paresh Dave
A man accused of making prank calls to several well-known  sports coaches and then illegally recording them pleaded not guilty Monday to one felony count of eavesdropping. Prosecutors have said that Kenneth Edward Tarr, 32, posed as a recruiter for pro teams and universities during calls in October and November to least six college and professional coaches. Prosecutors said the victims included NBC broadcaster and Super Bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy, who was duped about a football coaching job at USC, and recently fired Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier, who was contacted about a fake Dallas Cowboys job. Cleveland Indians President Mark Shapiro was told he was talking to Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti, prosecutors said.  Tarr broke the law by not seeking the sports figures' consent before recording the calls, the L.A. County district attorney's office has said.
December 29, 2013 | By Howard Blume
Authorities are asking for the public's help in gathering additional evidence against a group of teenagers who allegedly posed as Temecula police officers while staging pranks against their unsuspecting victims. The first report to police involved two separate incidents on the evening of Dec. 23, but the pranksters may have been involved in other similar acts, according to a statement from the Riverside County Sheriff's Department. “The suspects used high-powered flashlights and electronic megaphones to order the victims out of their cars and to lie face down on the pavement,” according to  the Sheriff's Department.
November 19, 2013 | By Samantha Schaefer
Bear sightings have become a common occurrence in the Los Angeles foothills, but in Huntington Beach? Passersby were stopped in their tracks this week at the sight of a bear peering out the window of a yellow Lamborghini near the beach city's Main Street. Video footage shows a crowd form around the car, with spectators hesitantly running up to the window to snap a photo with the mellow ursine and give it a pat on the head. Some believed people were simply ogling the flashy sports car before noticing a furry head poking out the window.
April 25, 2013 | By Chuck Schilken
Bryn Renner takes his role as North Carolina's quarterback seriously. Perhaps he has a soft spot in his heart for fainting goats. Or maybe he just thought the whole thing was stupid. For whatever reason, Renner didn't seem to appreciate it one day in practice last fall when every player on the field, except him, fell to the ground and rolled over as soon as the ball was snapped. Renner reacted by slamming the ball to the ground and running downfield. On his way back, he batted the ball away with his helmet and refused to take high-fives from his teammates.
December 10, 2012 | By Henry Chu
LONDON -- Tearful and contrite, two Australian radio hosts Monday described themselves as heartbroken over the apparent suicide of the nurse in England who took their prank call seeking information about Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge. Mel Greig and Michael Christian said their impersonation of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles was a silly stunt that they never expected to succeed, let alone play a potential role in the death of Jacintha Saldhana, who worked at the hospital where Prince William's wife was being treated for acute morning sickness.
November 2, 2013 | By Catherine Saillant
In a bid to cut down on fake 911 calls, the Los Angeles City Council has decided to offer rewards for tipsters providing information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those who engage in "swatting. " Swatting is a malicious prank in which someone reports that a violent crime, usually involving a celebrity, is underway. The calls prompt a SWAT-team-style response to a location where no crime is occurring. The false alarms tie up Los Angeles Police Department resources, and some officers have been injured responding to fake calls, officials said.
October 16, 2013 | By Richard Winton and Dan Weikel
The 28-year-old ground service worker arrested in connection with a string of dry ice bombs at Los Angeles International Airport did it as a prank out of curiosity because "he thought it was funny," police said Wednesday. Dicarlo Bennett will be charged with two felony counts of suspicion of possessing a destructive device, Los Angeles police said. One device exploded on the tarmac near passenger airliners at Tom Bradley International Terminal and another in a bathroom at Terminal 2. A third dry ice bomb was found Monday fizzing near the Bradley terminal.
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