Tom Cruise has become the latest celebrity to be “swatted”: a SWAT team and several armed police officers arrived at his Beverly Hills home after a call was received that gun shots had been heard inside, it has emerged.
The trend, as worrying and time-consuming as it is, not to mention that it’s also wasting taxpayers’ money, seems to be picking up in showbiz.
In recent months, several other celebrities have also been swatted, the Los Angeles Times notes, among them, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Charlie Sheen, Simon Cowell and Ashton Kutcher.
“Beverly Hills police surrounded actor Tom Cruise's home after a report of shots fired that appeared to be another ‘swatting’ hoax, authorities said,” the LA Times reports.
“Authorities were still investigating the call, which they said did not originate inside Cruise's home, Beverly Hills police Sgt. Renato Moreno said. It was not immediately known if the actor was home at the time,” the report further notes.
A tweet from the Beverly Hills police confirmed that the emergency call was unfounded, saying “No emergency, everyone safe.”
For the time being, police don’t have a suspect in the latest swatting prank call.
When Justin Bieber and Ashton Kutcher were involved, they eventually identified and detained a 12-year-old computer genius, who had managed to place the emergency call in a manner that was almost untraceable.
In neither of these cases of swatting was the star targeted involved, or on the premise at the time police descended in response to the fake emergency call.
As authorities put it at the time when they arrested the 12-year-old prank caller, such pranks are expensive and time-consuming. The computer genius, for instance, could have used his skills “in a positive way” to the most amazing results.
A rep for Tom Cruise has not addressed the situation yet.