Game Apologizes for Phone Prank to L.A.’s Sheriff’s Office
Rapper Game has confessed to the social-media prank that jammed phone lines at the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Compton station last Friday, which reportedly delayed emergency calls to the station.
As we previously reported, the 'Pot of Gold' rapper caused a telephone flash mob when he allegedly tweeted the Compton Sheriff station's number in response for an internship, which kicked off a barrage of calls to the facility. Authorities believe the calls lasted for two hours and that help was delayed in response to emergencies about a missing person, a spousal assault, two robberies and a stolen car.
During an interview with CNN, Game apologized for his part in the prank saying it was a joke gone wrong. "It was a simple mishap," he said. "I was doing a photo shoot, and it was downtown Los Angeles, and one of my boys picked up my phone and started tweeting random numbers."
According to Game, the tweet about the phone number was confused with an earlier tweet about a label internship that the rapper was offering to his 580,000 followers on his Twitter account. "The tweet about the internship was earlier in that day," he said. "[My friend] never sent out a tweet that said these numbers are for the internship. He tweeted a bunch of numbers jokingly. We always play pranks on each other."
Meanwhile, Sheriff's Department Capt. Mike Parker isn't laughing about the incident. He said the deluge of calls interfered with the staff's ability to answer 911 calls. Parker said he may charge the rapper with at least three misdemeanors, each carrying a maximum sentence of a year in jail.
"In the age of new media that began just a few short years ago, musicians, celebrities and notable persons have a large number of followers on social media," he said. "They have an obligation to be responsible and to care about the community and their fans, which includes not doing the social media equivalent of yelling 'fire' in a crowded movie theater."
When asked if he's worry about criminal prosecution behind the prank, Game responded, "If anybody (at the sheriff's department) wants to take it further than that, I guess they have to do what they have to do. Like I said, again, 'I never intended for anybody to take it the wrong way or for it to go this far, and just, you know, I think it's all nonsense.'"
We hate to sound like a broken record, but let this be a warning to you celebrities on Twitter -- watch what you tweet!
UPDATED (8/18): The Los Angeles Times reports that the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department will not pursue criminal prosecution against Game because of a lack of evidence. "Based upon our investigation, as well as consultation with the Los Angeles County district attorney's office, the LASD considers the criminal investigation into this matter closed," Capt. Mike Parker wrote in a statement.