Suspect Arrested For Swatting Celebrity Homes
By Ivetta Babadjanian
Dec 19, 2012 - 1:45:04 PM
LOS ANGELES—Police have arrested an unidentified juvenile who they claim is responsible for making prank calls to the police and reporting violence at the homes of celebrities Justin Bieber and Ashton Kutcher. The pranks led officers to respond with armed SWAT teams to the stars' homes.
Singer Justin Bieber. Photo courtesy of Facebook.
On Tuesday, December 18 the Los Angeles Police Department refused to release any additional information about the suspect who was arrested on December 10 and is now no longer in custody. Prosecutors are looking into a possible case against the suspect who police state may be responsible for multiple hoax calls to initiate large police responds.
"The swatting practice is extremely dangerous and places first responders and citizens in harm's way," police said in a news release.
It was revealed on Wednesday, December 19 that the suspect was in fact a 12-year-old boy who is being described as antisocial and spends a lot of time communicating with other hackers. Reports indicate that Children's Services has visited the home multiple times in order to stabilize the situation with no signs of improvement.
Police have reported the suspect called 911 stating multiple people were shot at Kutcher's home in Hollywood Hills on October 3 and another call was made a week later with claimed shots fired at Bieber's home. Both celebrities were not home at the time and officers determined no one was injured.
In a news release, police said multiple agencies including the FBI and Long Beach Police Department took part in the investigation. Long Beach detectives whose focus are on cyber crimes were consulted and the agency was not involved with the arrest. Police stated that the suspect lives in the Southern California area.
The boy is suspected of being involved in other swatting incidents but police did not specify whether they involved celebrities. Similar hoax calls were made involving the homes of actress Miley Cyrus and judge on "The X Factor," Simon Cowell.
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