When police arrived, though, Chris Brown wasn't around. Members of his staff were at home, however, allowing authorities to enter.
Police searched the home, but didn’t find any problems. One has to wonder if they responded quickly due to Brown's history of domestic violence. In 2009, the singer pled guilty to felony assault of singer and then-girlfriend Rihanna. He was sentenced to five years of probation as well as six months of community service.
Brown’s is the latest so-called “swatting” prank targeting celebrities. "Swatting" consists of calling 911 and falsely reporting an emergency that will cause multiple officers, hopefully including SWAT teams, to rush to a home. SWAT teams = swatting.
According to the state of California, falsely reporting a crime can result in the following sentences, depending on the severity of the crime:
If deemed a misdemeanor: imprisonment in a county jail for a period not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.
If deemed a felony (which according to the state would be if the perpetrator "knows or should know that the response to the report is likely to cause death or great bodily injury, AND great bodily injury or death is sustained by any person as a result of the false report): imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.
Based on that, a "swatting" incident might be deemed a felony if, during the course of a SWAT or other police response, someone were, say, shot.
It is not out of the realm of the imagination for such an event to occur, although the cases of "swatting" thus far have just been annoyances to authorities and the celebrities involved, including the Kardashian clan, Tom Cruise, Justin Bieber, Ashton Kutcher, Miley Cyrus and Simon Cowell.