'Swatting' call at anti-'swatting' senator's home

April 19, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Torrance Police responded to a report of shots fired at the Torrance residence of California Senator Ted Lieu (D-Torrance).

Police received the report at about 1:10 p.m. Friday via an Internet service for the hearing-impaired.

Responding officers discovered the residence belongs to Lieu. It was a multi-unit response with fire department personnel on standby.

Officers made phone contact with Lieu's wife, who was home at the time. She exited the residence and police cleared the scene.

Police determined the call was a fake, known as a "swatting" incident (named for SWAT responses to some of the calls in the past).

Lieu introduced a bill in the California Senate to crack down on the increasing prank of "swatting" calls.

Lieu was leaving a meeting in Orange County when he received a call from police.

"We got 'swatted' and a large armed response showed up," said Sen. Lieu Friday. "This is exactly the reason I'm carrying legislation to stop 'swatting' from happening. It was a waste of law enforcement resources, and it put fire and police personnel at a place they didn't need to be. It was also very disruptive to my family as well."

Lieu's wife was home sick with a cold at the time of the incident. Police had her leave her home with her hands up, following standard police protocol.

Each of these incidents costs up to $10,000, according to Sen. Lieu. Senate Bill 333 would hold the perpetrators liable for all costs related to the swatting incident. It will be heard on the senate floor sometime next month.

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