Los Angeles: On October 3, 2012, Los Angeles Police Officers assigned to the Hollywood Division responded to a call for service at a residence on Arrowhead Drive. The comments of the call advised that there were individuals inside the location with guns and explosives, and that several people had been shot. The on scene investigation determined the call was a hoax. In addition, it was learned that the location is the home of actor Ashton Kutcher. In all, dozens of emergency personnel responded to the location.
Hollywood detectives immediately launched an investigation to determine the origin of the call. Their preliminary investigation revealed the call was a “swatting” incident, a term used to describe how computer hackers utilize their skills to place false emergency calls of serious crimes in progress to law enforcement and fire dispatch centers, thus causing a large number of first responders. The swatting practice is extremely dangerous and places first responders and citizens in harm’s way.
Hollywood Detectives served numerous search warrants, including several outside of Los Angeles County. On December 10, 2012, Hollywood Detectives arrested a juvenile from the Southern California region for the Ashton Kutcher swatting incident, as well as a similar swatting incident that took place at the home of Justin Bieber. Other swatting incidents involving this individual have been identified.
The Los Angeles Police Department worked in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Long Beach Police Department to bring this case to a successful conclusion. The case has been presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for review and filing consideration.
Anyone with information regarding any related incidents is asked to contact the Hollywood Area Detective Division at 213-972-2931. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.