August 14, 2011 in Nation/World

Flash mob tweet may be crime

Calls overwhelm sheriff’s phones
Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Rapper The Game may face charges over a phone number tweet.
(Full-size photo)

LOS ANGELES – A rapper could face criminal charges after a tweet from his Twitter account incited a telephone flash mob that overwhelmed the emergency phone system at one of the busiest stations of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the agency said Saturday.

The Sheriff’s Department alleges The Game tweeted the Compton station’s phone number Friday and told his 580,000 followers to call the number if they wanted an internship.

Phones at the southeast Los Angeles County station started ringing at 5:23 p.m. Friday, and the lines were jammed by hundreds of calls for more than two hours, prompting authorities to bring in additional help. During that time people with legitimate issues that included a missing person, spousal abuse and two robberies were also trying to call in, spokesman Steve Whitmore said.

Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Parker said that when authorities finally figured out what had happened, he sent two tweets to the rapper asking him to take down the number. Instead, Parker said, The Game posted that his account had been hacked and also tweeted that it was an accident.

The rapper finally took down the number around 11 p.m. Friday.

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