Listen, my friends and I made some pretty idiotic prank calls during middle school slumber parties, but I’m pretty sure we never broke the law. We never even came close to concocting the elaborate hoaxes orchestrated by a certain 12-year-old boy in California. This imaginative child convinced police that Russian thugs were holding people hostage in Ashton Kutcher‘s home, sending SWAT officers rushing to the scene.
The newest innovation in pranksterÂ adolescence is called “Swatting.” It involves convincing police that a serious crime is going on at a celebrity’s home, sending SWAT teams bursting through the doors on unsuspecting movie and pop stars.
The originator of this horrible waste of law enforcement’s time is apparently a 12-year-old boy who spends most of his time on his computer. He struck both Kutcher’s home and the mansion of Justin Bieber, making national headlines for the pranks.
Now, TMZ claims to have exclusive knowledge of the young man’s identity, and his troubled homelife. According to them:
Sources connected to the boy tell TMZ … he lives in California with his mother.Â He refuses to go to school and sits at his computer day and night, communicating with other hackers.Â We’re told he is antisocial, preferring the keyboard to personal contact.
Our sources say Children’s Services has been to the boy’s apartment multiple times, trying to stabilize the situation, to no avail.Â We’re told the mother has virtually checked out.Â We’re told the family is “incredibly dysfunctional.”
While reporting a false crime is a serious matter, it seems like the boy’s young age might save him from real trouble. TMZ says that authorities are more interested in getting this young man into counseling and a stable foster home than they are in seeing him severely punished.
Obviously, this was a tween prank taken too far. I can completely see where the idea of creating a huge scheme to punk to maker of Punk’d could come from. (I can’t lie, I appreciate the thought there.) I wouldn’t be surprised if Ashton Kutcher hadn’t created a scenario like this on one of his shows, thought he would have had the means to hire a fake SWAT team.
Not to get all pseudo-psychologist about it, but I can also see where a young man who is absorbed in internet communications would have a hard time appreciating the real-life consequences of his actions. Hopefully, he gets into a more stable home and then this tween trickster could try using his devious mind for good. Or maybe he’ll get hired to work for a reality television show. I mean, Ashton can take a joke, right?