Authorities believe that Miley Cyrus may have been a victim of a "swatting" prank.
Someone called 911 Wednesday night to report that Miley Cyrus was the victim of a home invasion. The caller said there was a kidnapping in progress at the singer/actress' home and that one person was shot, ABC News reports.
Los Angeles police and rescue crews responded to the call and established a perimeter around the home. They approached the house with weapons drawn. But it turned out nobody was home.
Pranks like Miley Cyrus' "swatting" incident are on the rise, police told ABC.
Swatting is when an anonymous caller makes a false report of a crime in progress. Typically, the bogus crime will be extreme, in an attempt to get a SWAT team to storm into an innocent person's home, reports ABC.
As you can imagine, sending over a convoy of heavily armed law enforcement personnel to an expectantly tense situation can be very dangerous. For example, if there was someone at the home of Miley Cyrus, that person could have easily been injured by the SWAT team. Police say they are now tracking the caller who made the swatting call and that person will be prosecuted for a crime.
In California, making a false call to 911 is considered a misdemeanor and someone convicted of the crime could face up to a year in jail. The prank caller should count himself lucky that no one was hurt in the Miley Cyrus swatting prank as he could have faced felony charges and up to three years in jail in that situation.
- Miley Cyrus -- Cops Race to L.A. Home in Apparent 'Swatting' Prank (TMZ)
- Miley Cyrus' Salvia (Or Pot?) Smoking Stirs More Controversy (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)
- Too Many 911 Calls Can Get You Arrested (FindLaw's Blotter)
- The Crime of False Report of a Crime (FindLaw's New York Criminal Law Blog)