12-Year-Old ‘Swatter’ Charged With Felony: A Harsh Sentence Can Help Deter Copycats

12-Year-Old 'Swatter' Charged With Felony: A Harsh Sentence Can Help Deter Copycats

A 12-year-old “swatter” charged with making prank 911 calls that sent police rushing to Ashton Kutcher’s home needs to become an example for police that such dangerous behavior won’t be tolerated.

The charges may sound harsh, especially for someone so young, but police need to set a strong example that no matter the age, no one will get away with putting police and civilians in danger in the name of a prank. The 12-year-old “swatter” charged for the prank not only wasted the valuable time and resources of the police, but also put innocent people in harm’s way.

Police withheld the name of the 12-year-old “swatter,” but said he’s charged with two felony counts of making false bomb threats and computer intrusion for calling in fake 911 emergencies at Ashton Kutcher’s house and a Los Angeles bank, the blog Zap2It reported.

The 12-year-old “swatter” — so named because the prank calls force police to send SWAT teams — was part of a trend of prank phone calls claiming emergencies at celebrities homes.

One of those incidents happened on October 3, when police rushed to the home of Ashton Kutcher after the 12-year-old called for help. The boy told police that people in the house had guns and explosives, and that several people in the home had been shot.

Also struck were Tom Cruise, Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, and Bruce and Kris Jenner.

In the wake of terrible events like the Newtown massacre, it is important that law enforcement officials show zero tolerance for anything that compromises their ability to respond.

There do appear to be some extenuating circumstances. Police described the boy’s home life as “incredibly dysfunctional” when the first started investigating him back in December.

It is sad, and obviously there are parental failures involved, but the 12-year-old “swatter” charged in the case needs to be made an example.