Hijinks are afoot in Los Angeles, where a SWAT team was dispatched to Tom Cruise's Beverly Hills mansion after receiving a call that there was a gunman on the premises. There was no gunman at Tom Cruise's house. There was also no Tom Cruise at Tom Cruise's house — and if there's ever a gunman at Tom Cruise's house, it's probably Tom Cruise being a weirdo.
So who called a SWAT team to Tom Cruise's house? A prank caller following in the footsteps of some of Los Angeles' coolest teens, who have had SWAT teams sent to the houses of various celebrities. This is apparently called "swatting."
Cruise isn't the first celebrity targeted in a "swatting," a prank in someone calls to report a nonexistent emergency at a location, which often results in the deployment of a SWAT team. Several others have been victims of similar incidents in recent months, including Charlie Sheen, Miley Cyrus, Simon Cowell, Ashton Kutcher and Justin Bieber.
In December, Los Angeles police arrested a 12-year-old boy believed to be behind several "swatting" incidents at the homes of Kutcher and Bieber, along with local businesses.
Lt. Marc Reina said the boy used a computer program that allowed him to make TTY calls used by people who are hearing-impaired. The boy set up a fake account and began making the swatting calls via message to LAPD, he said.
Swatting! Knowing Hollywood, swatting is probably being developed into a film script as we speak, with a plot that centers on a vengeful father whose young daughter was accidentally shot and killed by a SWAT team called to the family's house by a prankster. Starring Tom Cruise.