911 hoaxes target celebrities

'Swatting' calls bring police to the homes of off-guard stars

By Anthony Mccartney

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Jan. 26 2013 9:50 p.m. MST

"At some point, we don't want law enforcement to feel like this is another cry-wolf situation," Lieu said.

Smith said that's a possibility, but he said officers are being told to treat all 911 calls with caution, even if they know they're traveling to a celebrity's home and the call has the traits of a prank.

The California bill, which is also being proposed by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, would increase the penalties for convicted swatters to up to three years in jail if someone was hurt as a result of their call, and also make them responsible for the costs of the emergency response.

The term swatting was coined by the Dallas FBI office a few years ago after its agents busted a group responsible for 60 hoax calls around the nation.

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