What do Tom Cruise, Ashton Kutcher, and Justin Bieber all have in common? Besides the fact that they are all absurdly rich, they’re also members of an exclusive club. All three have fallen victim to a new prank known as “swatting.”
The prank is simple and evil. Someone calls a local police department to report an emergency at an address and the police show up. Naturally, when they arrive there is no emergency and their time has been wasted. When your prank call is to the Beverly Hills Police Department and you report “shots fired” at an address, say one belonging to Tom Cruise, the SWAT team shows up.
The LA Times reports police arrested a 12-year-old boy in December, believing he was responsible for several “swatting” calls, including those to Bieber and Kutcher. Other victims of the prank include Charlie Sheen, Simon Cowell, and Miley Cyrus.
Cruise wasn’t home at the time of the hoax, and police have determined the call did not come from his house. They are still searching for the perpetrator.
This is the second time police have been to Cruise’s home in recent months, after a security guard used a stun gun on a trespassing neighbor in October. It turned out the neighbor was drunk, and may have been lost.