When the Beverly Hills police dispatch received a call about an armed robbery in progress at the home of Tom Cruise, they responded in full force. After several police officers arrived, prepared to encounter a possible gunman, they were greeted by surprised security personal.
The 911 call that brought police to the doorstep of the Cruise estate is not the first bogus emergency call directed toward a celebrity. There has been a growing trend of celebrities being ‘swatted’ by pranksters. So far, the list of celebrity swatting victims includes Justin Bieber, Ashton Kutcher, Chris Brown, Charlie Sheen, and Miley Cyrus.
The Beverly Hills Police department estimated that nearly half of the force responded to the Cruise swatting call on January 17. When the police force sends out officers, police dogs, helicopters, and in some cases swats teams, it ties up emergency resources. Los Angeles police Cmdr. Andrew Smith said, “The last thing we want to have our detectives do is spend a bunch of time on a foolish prank like this."
A 12-year-old boy who was suspected of swatting Kutcher's home was arrested in December. Police believe that the boy swatted other celebrates as well. Prosecutors are still evaluating possible charges against the boy.