Update: The swatting incident was actually at the home of music producer P. Diddy. Police report that they were surrounding Steve Carell’s home because he is P. Diddy’s neighbor. You can read about the P. Diddy response here.
Steve Carell is Hollywood’s newest swatting victim. The A-list actor’s home on Wednesday afternoon was approached by dozens of police cars and two police helicopters which raced towards his residence.
Shortly after arriving, police officers moved off the home’s premise and the two helicopters flew away. Police say the situation has all the signs of a “swatting prank.”
At this time, the Hollywood police department has not revealed why they stormed Steve Carell’s home. In a traditional (although the tradition is very new) swatting prank, someone calls into the police station claiming that a gunmen was spotted inside an actor’s home. Typically the caller will claim that gunshots were fired.
Steve Carell’s neighborhood is apparently a hotspot for celebrity swatting. In 2012, actress/singer Miley Cyrus was targeted in the same neighborhood.
While teenagers often pull off swatting pranks as if they were simply placing a prank call, police warn that lying to dispatchers and officers can carry serious charges, potentially even a felony.
Police also warn that there is the very real chance that someone could be injured or possibly killed as SWAT and other officers storm a home.
On December 10, 2012, police raided a home in Southern California and arrested a teenager who they tracked down after several swatting calls. The teenager was accused of swatting calls on the homes of Punk’d creator Ashton Kutcher and pop sensation Justin Bieber.
In explaining the scary moment at Justin Bieber’s home, the LA Times wrote:
“Unaware it was Bieber’s residence, deputies arrived in force. They searched Bieber’s residence and interviewed people on the property who told them no call had been made to authorities and that the pop star was away on tour at the time of the incident. They determined the incident was a hoax.”
Police have not named a suspect in the Steve Carrell swatting incident at this time
[Image via Tom Sorensen]