The Los Angeles Police Department has announced that they will no longer publicize cases where celebrities have been SWATted. The idea behind this decision is that the publicity surrounding these SWATting cases is encouraging the perpetrators to continue and even intensify their illegal activities. A cynical person might also observe that the lack of publicity will take the spotlight off of what has been an embarrassing failure on the part of LAPD to arrest a perpetrator or perpetrators of the latest round of SWATtings. Fortunately for LAPD, I am not a cynical person and will make no such observation.
It will be interesting to see whether the LAPD news blackout will result in swotting’s of celebrities going unreported. I’m not sure that TMZ gets its early reports of the celebrities SWATings from LAPD press releases.
One potential consequence of LAPD’s decision is that the person or people behind the celebrity SWATtings will find other ways to get into the news. They might, for example, change jurisdictions and do something so public that it can’t be ignored by the news media.
The thing is, it’s not really a SWATting — it’s more like a dangerous prank call. The difference is that the police were not (initially) called; instead, the prank caller called the restaurant and pretended to be the police:
Diners at a Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant in Waikiki, Hawaii, were given a scare after the store’s manager screamed for everyone to get on the ground, the result of what local authorities believe was a “SWATTING” prank.
“The term comes from the pranksters’ desire to have heavily armed special weapons teams dispatched to their calls,” the Associated Press notes. “The calls, sometimes made by children, can tie up resources ranging from dispatchers, patrol officers, detectives helicopters and police dogs.”
“At about 7:15 p.m. Thursday, the restaurant got a call from a person who claimed to be from the Honolulu Police Department,” KHON 2 reports. “The caller told the manager that someone in the restaurant was armed and dangerous.”
The manager reacted on instinct, telling patrons to duck for cover.
I really have no idea whether this incident is related in any way to the things that have been going on in Los Angeles.
In other SWATting news, the latest victim of SWATting, Ryan Seacrest, apparently had a discussion about SWATting with nincompoop Russell Brand on a radio show. Brand had made light of his own SWATting incident, on Seacrest’s radio show:
The 37-year-old ‘Brand X’ host told ‘On Air with Ryan Seacrest’ on Wednesday (04.10.13): “If all swatting attacks are this unnoticeable I’m ready for war because I didn’t even know it had happened, I still don’t know what a swatting attack is!”
“I wasn’t [there] I was out. There’s always some helicopters and police at my house anyway because of my involvement in other activities so I didn’t notice any additional ones.
“Swatting, I don’t like the word very much. Swatting, obviously what you do to insects or a passing bottom.
“I think if I I were a teenager I’d definitely do it, but what would be bad would be if the police were attending a swatting and then an actual crime happened and it took the police too long to get there because they were doing a swatting but other than that it sounds like a laugh.”
Within hours, Seacrest — who had “aggressively challenged” the idiot Brand — was himself SWATted.