I guess if one is a celebrity authorities take crimes like “swatting” seriously.
Los Angeles police arrested an unidentified juvenile in a series of “swatting” incidents that targeted celebrities, including actor Ashton Kutcher and singer Justin Bieber, department officials said Tuesday.
Authorities would say only that the suspect was arrested Dec. 10 at his parents’ Southern California home. They would not release additional details about his identity, exact age or background. The LAPD, which investigated the case with the Long Beach Police Department and FBI, cautioned that the investigation was ongoing.
LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said investigators have strong evidence linking the boy to several incidents involving calls or electronic messages that were sent to police and prompted a tactical response including call-outs of SWAT officers, hence the term “swatting.”
The boy targeted Kutcher and Bieber, as well as several other victims that included local businesses, according to Smith. Investigators do not believe at this time that Miley Cyrus, whose residence also was targeted in a “swatting” hoax, was part of the boy’s alleged pranks.
“We take these incidents very seriously because of the tremendous potential for something tragic to occur,” Smith said. “We are working with the city attorney’s office to see if the parents of this boy can be held financially responsible for the cost of the police response.” (Read More)
Popular bloggers without the name recognition of guys like Justin Bieber and Ashton Kutcher are still waiting.
Now, it could be that those who swatted guys like Erik Erickson, Patrick Frey and Aaron Walker are just better at avoiding detection than the dumb juvenile who swatted Bieber and Kutcher. But it’s certainly noteworthy that two celebrity cases were cleared up pretty quickly, while bloggers have resorted to relying on pro-bono attorneys to try to find justice. (Bill Hoge is following those cases, so be sure to keep an eye on his blog.)
(If you’re wondering about the identity theft, impersonation, and threats of rape and death I’ve been subjected to by some anonymous troll, there isn’t much new to report. I’m not a celebrity, so while local law authorities are looking into it, and the FBI was involved at one point, I’m not a priority.)
Update: Linked by Becca Lower – thanks!