HOLLYWOOD HILLS—Chris Brown has been added to the string of celebrities who have fallen victim of the recent trend known as “swatting” after a false report was made to police officials about a domestic dispute at the R&B singer’s Hollywood Hills home.
Shortly before 5:00 p.m. on Monday, January 21, authorities received a call regarding a domestic dispute at the singer’s home, claiming that a mother and father were in a physical altercation and that the father had gone in the other room to get a gun. Officers were greeted by Brown’s staff, who allowed them in to investigate the premises. Brown was not home at the time, and nothing was found during the investigation.
The sensational tabloid couple Rihanna and Brown spurred a public frenzy after Brown physically assaulted her in 2009, leaving bruises and marks on the singer’s face that surfaced in nearly every celebrity media outlet. The two are reported to be dating according to multiple sources and celebrity news sites. According to E! News, the two were out on Friday night, canoodling at the Emerson Theatre in
West Hollywood. The couple also released twit pics of them in bed together on New Year’s Day.
Chris Brown is the victim of the most recent celebrity swatting epidemic.
Brown has not yet released a statement yet via Twitter or other social media sites regarding the swatting hoax. The singer is just one of many in the pool of celebrities who have been targeted for these prank calls. Celebrities including Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Bruce and Kris Jenner, Simon Cowell, Ashton Kutcher and Tom Cruise have all been involved in these false reports.
The recent pattern of false reports started in August when a caller claimed that a kidnapper invaded Miley Cyrus’ property, and that a shooting occurred. Following this false allegation, in October a caller claimed that someone was waving a gun outside of Bieber’s
L.A. home, resulting in a number of police cars and helicopters surrounding the celebrity’s home and elicited a sweeping of his home, including two others on the block.
In the same month, a prankster claimed that there was a “hostage situation” at Kutcher’s home via “teletext,” a device used for deaf people who need to report a crime. The suspect reported that there were armed Russian men robbing the place while he/she was locked inside Kutcher’s home, and that several shots had been fired. The incident resulted in dozens of armed officers at Kutcher’s residence, reportedly wasting $10,000 of manpower and resources. A 12-year-old suspect was arrested shortly after for suspicion of being a part of these hoaxes.
In November, “X-Factor” judge Simon Cowell, who was home at the time had officers arrive at his home after a call was made about him being duct taped and held hostage in his Beverly Hills home. According to police, the caller was a female.
While Brown remains the most recent victim of celebrity swattings, a term that originates from FBI SWAT teams arriving in response to most of these calls, the second most recent incident occurred at Bruce and Kris Jenner’s
Malibu home on Friday, January 18. The caller reported that there was a man with a gun; the incident resulted in a number of squad cars and helicopters on the premises. Kim Kardashian angrily responded to the prank tweeting, “These prank calls are NOT funny! People can get arrested for this! I hope they find out who is behind this. Its dangerous & not a joke!”
Although this trend of celebrity swatting has recently surfaced, swatting it is not a new phenomenon. In 2008, the FBI released a response to the act of swatting in February. They stated that these calls are “dangerous to first responders and to the victims…The community is placed in danger as responders rush to the scene, taking them away from real emergencies. And the officers are placed in danger as unsuspecting residents may try to defend themselves.”