Ryan Seacrest was “swatted,” the latest celebrity victim of a growing prank mainly perpetrated on famous people.
According to many media sources, the instance of Ryan Seacrest being “swatted” is one of many in a prank trend that is a plague on the victims and police alike.
If you haven’t heard of swatting, it goes like this — mischievous folks place a harried call to 911, reporting to emergency services that a horrific crime is underway at a celebrity residence. (Celebrities, often the feature of “star tours” type tourism events, can be easy to locate.)
And when a star like Ryan Seacrest is swatted, cops have to take the report seriously. Pranksters delight in the idea of a SWAT team barging into the home of a celebrity unaware of the unfolding invasion, and, in the event the victim of the prank is doing something in their own home that looks suspicious or in any way is not immediately identifiable as the homeowner or a resident, things could get quite hairy quite fast — it’s conceivable that doing one’s own maintenance or responding to a SWAT team’s sudden intrusion would precipitate a not well thought out reaction.
The New York Timesconfirms that both Russell Brand and Ryan Seacrest were swatted recently, saying:
“On Wednesday afternoon, Ryan Seacrest — who earlier that day on his radio show had aggressively challenged Mr. Brand after Mr. Brand tried to make light of his own experience — became the latest victim of a swatting prank. The Beverly Hills Police Department received a late-afternoon false report that a group of armed men was trying to break into Mr. Seacrest’s gated estate on Cabrillo Lane.”
It seems police cannot become inured to reports of swatting, and Sgt. Renato Moreno of the Beverly Hills police explains why swatting is hard to ignore in the event there is any truth to the claim:
“[Swatting pranksters] give a very descriptive account, all the way down to the number of victims and the people screaming. They paint a very horrific scene inside the house, describing a very uncontrolled scene.”
And in the case of Russell Brand’s swatting, it’s difficult to imagine, for instance, a scenario in which the comedian chilling inside his home wouldn’t look like a totally suspicious criminal.
In this month alone, as Ryan Seacrest was swatted, so too were Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, P. Diddy, Selena Gomez, and Justin Bieber.