Police around the country are warning tonight about a bizarre new hoax. Pranksters send police s.W.A.T. Teaming brandishing guns to your home in the middle of the night. Neighbors have done it to get... See More
Police around the country are warning tonight about a bizarre new hoax. Pranksters send police s.W.A.T. Teaming brandishing guns to your home in the middle of the night. Neighbors have done it to get revenge, public officials are targets. So is justin bieber. Here's abc's nick watt. Reporter: A 911 call. A man waving a gun near justin bieber's l.A. Home. Police helicopters and cruisers dispatched immediately. But that call was a hoax, the latest in a rash of so called "swatting," bogus 911 calls for crimes so potentially dangerous they trigger a s.W.A.T. Team response. I am armed. I do have a pistol and I swear to god I will kill these people. Reporter: Colorado springs police reacted to that with heavy weapons drawn. They found a 15-year-old kid just hanging out at home. I come out of my room, they got guns pointed at me. I'm like, oh, my god, I'm going to die. People primarily swat because of the thrill of it. It's a power thing. Reporter: There are about 400 swatting incidents a year nationwide, costing on average $10,000 each. They waste valuable police resources and raise fears of accidental shootings. Two people have reportedly suffered heart attacks. I shot my wife, so -- Reporter: That was a swatter claiming to be erik erickson, an atlanta radio host. A s.W.A.T. Team was dispatched to his door. Erickson believes he was targeted because of his conservative politics. If it keeps up, someone is going to get killed. Reporter: Authorities are trying to strike back. Teenager matthew wideman was recently sentenced to 11 years in jail. I want -- give me $10,000 and a police cruiser up front or I'm going to kill the rest of the hostages in 30 minutes. Reporter: Police reacted to that call in new jersey by firing tear gas into the house. There was no hostage situation. Luckily, only the cat was home. Nick watt, abc news, los angeles.
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