Patterico's Pontifications

10/17/2012

LAPD on SWATting: At Some Point, Someone Will Die

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:36 am



It’s almost like the LAPD is taking it seriously:

One law enforcement source deeply involved in the investigation warns … if the pranks continue, it’s only a matter of time before an innocent person is mistaken for a phantom shooter and gets shot to death.

Cops are alarmed at the rash of swatting incidents and fear they will escalate even more. They also say it’s inevitable that someone waiting for emergency help may die while cops and EMTs are off responding to swatting calls.

But there’s good news — We’re told the LAPD has several promising leads … including electronic footprints left by the people making the prank calls. And in the case of Ashton Kutcher, we’re told cops believe the people behind his swatting incident were scoping out his house, and nearby homeowners may be providing some hot leads.

For what it’s worth, I got a phone call from someone at LAPD working on the (attempted) SWATtings of Kutcher, Bieber, and Cyrus. They were interested in how my case had been investigated and by whom. They seemed to know a lot about SWATtings. I believe it’s the first time I ever got an unsolicited call from a detective working on SWATtings, and they weren’t working on my case. It’s a good sign for the victims of those (attempted) SWATtings.

Good luck to them.

23 Responses to “LAPD on SWATting: At Some Point, Someone Will Die”

  1. Is it just me, or does it seemt o anyone else that SWATting would be less common if SWAT teams hadn’t gotten quite so normal?

    C. S. P. Schofield (4feea2)

  2. The sad part of it is, the only reason they’re taking notice of it is because of Bieber, Kutcher and Cyrus.

    Joe Nobody doesn’t matter.

    It is good that they’re finally taking notice, but c’mon.

    © Sponge (9fff1f)

  3. #2… Ditto!
    It is one of those undeniable truths of life, that in L.A. nothing gets the criminal justice system moving like an attack on a Hollywood icon.
    On that scale from BKC to Joe Nobody’s, it seems like ADA’s/DDA’s rand a lot closer to Joe than BKC.

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (b8ab92)

  4. CSP- even if there were not “SWAT” teams, a call reporting a murder will bring police of whatever expertise flocking with guns drawn. It might be better that people with SWAT training are around to respond instead of the typical officer on the beat that has never been in a life and death situation before.

    But it is good news.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  5. It’s good that the LAPD is getting serious about this. The SWATtings are as dangerous to police as they are to the rest of us.

    1 – a cop could get shot making a no-knock raid against an innocent victim who acts in self-defense. Then they will lie about having announced themselves in advance, and demonize the dead homeowner.

    2 – a cop could get shot by other police when they no-knock raid him. If you kick down the door to a cop’s house without announcing yourself, what’s he going to do? Think to himself, “statistically speaking, it must be the police kicking down my door, because they do it a lot more often than criminals, so I’ll wait to be arrested”? Or is he going to think “home invasion, if I don’t shoot it out with them I will probably die and any women/girls here might be raped”? He’s going to draw his piece, and when the other po-pos come running in, they will gun him down. And then they will lie about having announced themselves.

    Daryl Herbert (900a89)

  6. Oops…fat finger syndrome attack….
    rand rank

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (b8ab92)

  7. Who “SWATs” 3rd-tier celebs, and why? Publicity a possible motive. Can’t think of another off hand.

    Space Cockroach (8096f2)

  8. MD in Philly,

    The problems I have with SWAT are that A) They are trained to do ‘dynamic entry’ (AKA playing Eliot Ness) and B) They are now the go-to branch to serve warrants of all kinds.

    When I was growing up, if the police were called to a house on a murder report, they might have had guns drawn, but they would have approached the area like scotties approaching a skunk, not like Marines hitting the beach on Okinawa.

    It’s the “We’re SWAT! We’re as good as the SAS! We’ll just OVERWHELM all opposition!” mindset that gets people shot for no very good reason.

    And, of course, at the back of it is the War on Drugs, which is the root cause of our having kissed the protection against forced entry of our homes goodbye.

    C. S. P. Schofield (4feea2)

  9. Space Cockroach:

    Somebody pissed of at some “Star” maybe? Here’s a few I’ll just toss out that are plausible:

    Waiter at a restaurant that “Star” left a bad tip. Someone providing services to a “Star” who got stiffed on their bill.

    Autograph seeker casually dismissed by “Star” in a hurry.

    Actually the list of possible swatting perps is potentially endless.

    Libertarian Advocate (c660ae)

  10. Plus, if the house is empty, it could be a “false flag” ops by the “star” themselves to generate some press – it wouldn’t be the first time.

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (b8ab92)

  11. Sigh. Look, people, there doesn’t need to be a “reason.” Part of the joy of being a celebrity, even without politics or behavior being involved, is that some people will love you excessively and some people will hate you excessively. And any stalky fan or immature troll-in-training can switch between love and hate in a single moment, for no real reason. It’s all about the alleged fans’ personal issues, more than anything that the star does or doesn’t do.

    So basically, instead of writing a poison pen letter (which might mean personal contact with someone connected to the star — ooh, scary!), the anti-fan now calls the police to the star’s address.

    suburbanbanshee (44ac78)

  12. Miley Cyrus is worth $50 million, Justin Beiber $100 million, Ashton Kutcher $150 million. Oh, to be a “3rd-tier” celebrity!

    Icy (cbc5e3)

  13. here’s hoping you verified the LAPD contact prior to talking with them. given the actions of your fan club so far, impersonating a cop over the phone to pump you for data is no great stretch for them.

    as for getting things done in LA, it sure helps to be connected, rich or famous. third world ineptocracies are like that.

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  14. I believe it’s the first time I ever got an unsolicited call from a detective working on SWATtings, and they weren’t working on my case.

    That’s why you got a call. Because it appears nobody is working on your case. But those detectives thought somebody was.

    Still, you can tell them things: How these things work, who are the national experts – the way alternate addresses seem to have been checked out.

    Each group of SWATters is different, though probably, although, of course, because people make friends and talk and teach others * there may be more connections, especiually as time goes

    * Like say, a person who likes to use a certain camera, or computer, gets others involved in doing the same thing.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  15. Sammy:

    But those detectives thought somebody was.

    How do you know this? My guess is you’ve made an assumption, but why would you assume this is true?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  16. Sammy:

    Each group of SWATters is different, though probably, although, of course, because people make friends and talk and teach others * there may be more connections, especiually as time goes

    Again, how do you know this, and/or why would you assume this is true?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  17. redc14 has my first thought, it was a probe to learn how the SWATers can do it “better”.

    Long ago I was a teeny tiny celebrity. No higher than a grease spot on a freeway. I’d have to provide a detailed map for you to find me (and I will not.) People go crazy, I tell you. Completely bonkers.

    htom (412a17)

  18. Patterico,
    What on earth makes you certain you actually were talking to a Detective of the LAPD? If someone good enough with phone hacking can call in a 911 with a fake phone number without being immediately caught, they can call you and pretend to be a detective. How did you confirm that the caller was actually a detective? Did you take a name, look up the LAPD switchboard in the phone book and call him back? How can you be sure that you weren’t talking with the swatter who wanted to find out if the police were making any progress? Seriously. No, I don’t think I’m being too paranoid, not regarding someone who uses impersonation to carry off a potentially deadly prank.

    A. C. (c77050)

  19. Apropos of redc1c4 and A.C. … see this

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  20. I hadn’t considered AC’s thought, but I agree that’s plausible. The one thing the people I believe are the swatters have been most intensely focused on is details about the investigation.

    Dustin (73fead)

  21. We lawyers, know about these things, A.C.

    nk (875f57)

  22. How can you be sure that you weren’t talking with the swatter who wanted to find out if the police were making any progress?

    Without revealing too much: she certainly didn’t sound like the SWATter.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  23. Without revealing too much: she certainly didn’t sound like the SWATter.

    Even NR has female acquaintances and possible accomplices.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)


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