Crackdown on Hoax 911 Calls Proposed in California

Chula Vista fell victim to the practice of making fake 911 calls or "swatting"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC San Diego
    SWAT officers surround a house in Eastlake on March 17, 2011.

    California lawmakers are taking aim at the practice of "swatting," which has sent police on fake emergency calls to the homes of several celebrities.

    A similar prank prompted a massive police response to a Chula Vista neighborhood in March 2011 when a man made two hoax 911 calls claiming he had killed his wife and would kill himself.

    Homes were evacuated and a nearby school was placed on lockdown until officers entered the home believed to be at the source of the 911 call and found no one inside.

    Days later, Chula Vista police released audio of the calls but the suspect has not been caught.

    Audio: Hoax 911 Caller Says He Killed Wife

    [DGO] Audio: Hoax 911 Caller Says He Killed Wife
    Chula Vista police are asking the public's help to identify the caller whose false allegations caused panic and consumed vast police resources in Eastlake earlier this month. (Published Friday, Mar 25, 2011)

    Listen to the released 911 audio

    After a series of similar calls have been made in the Los Angeles area, police have asked the city attorney to pursue felony charges.

    On Monday, the LAPD responded to a report of domestic violence and a possible shooting at the home of singer Chris Brown, but it was a hoax.

    Days earlier, police received a call about a possible shooting at the home of Kim Kardashian's mother, Kris Jenner.

    Fake 911 Call Prompted 3-Hour SWAT

    [DGO] Fake 911 Call Prompted 3-Hour SWAT
    A caller said he shot and killed his wife and was going to kill himself inside an Eastlake home Thursday. The call resulted in evacuations and an intense search. Neighbors were angry when they found it was a hoax. Tony Shin reports. (Published Friday, Mar 18, 2011)

    Now, the Los Angeles Times reports a bill announced Wednesday by state Sen. Ted Lieu would permit longer sentences for those convicted of making false police reports. A similar measure was introduced by Assemblyman Mike Gatto.

    Lieu says prank reports of violence or robbery at the homes of stars could provoke a tragic accident.