Justin Timberlake, Selena Gomez latest victims of ‘swatting’
Friday’s incidents came a day after a caller falsely claimed someone had been shot at singer Rihanna’s Pacific Palisades home. The day before, someone falsely reported an assault at Sean Combs’ Toluca Lake home.
The LAPD has expressed frustration at having to devote resources to the false alarms. Sources said emergecy dispatchers are receiving intensified training in identifying crank callers.
Law enforcement officials said such calls, which are intended to draw SWAT officers to the scene of a celebritiy’s home as a prank, are a growing problem that could result in injuries and interfere with police work on real crimes, authorities say.
At 3:15 p.m. Friday, officers responded to a call of shots fired at Timberlake’s Hollywood Hills home but found nothing unusual, said LAPD spokeswoman Norma Eisenman.
Less than two hours later, police were sent to Gomez’s home in Sherman Oaks after a caller reported “someone had been killed inside the residence and there was a threat to burn the home down,” said Det. Gus Villanueva. The report was false, Villanueva said.
California lawmakers are considering tougher penalties for swatting.
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