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Tweet by The Game jams L.A. sheriff's phone lines, delays deputies

August 12, 2011 | 10:00 pm

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef011571697990970b-800wi

The L.A. Sheriff's Department on Friday opened a criminal investigation after the rapper The Game sent a tweet containing the number for the sheriff's Compton station, prompting hundreds of calls that authorities said overwhelmed the emergency phone system and delayed emergency service.

The telephone calls began pouring in about 5:20 p.m. after The Game encouraged his 580,000 followers that if they wanted an internship with him, they should call the phone number, said Sheriff's Capt. Mike Parker.

"This was beyond irresponsible," Parker said. "The deputies' ability to answer the phones and dispatch personnel to help these people in danger was significantly impeded."

Parker said it was not known how many people did not get through because all lines were jammed for more than two hours by the telephone flash mob. Extra deputies were brought in to handle the high volume of calls.

The Twitter exchange that deputies believe spawned the flood of calls began about 5 p.m. when The Game tweeted that people should call another Twitter user "for internship....... Lol he answering all bws phones today." 

That set off a back-and-forth exchange between the two that included expletives and personal phone numbers. Then The Game tweeted the Compton Sheriff's Station number, setting off the flood of calls.

Deputies found The Game's tweets and determined that he had put out the information. Parker said he tweeted The Game about 7 p.m. to tell him to stop.

Parker said that sheriff's investigators are documenting the actions in a criminal complaint and plan to forward their findings to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office for criminal filing.

"Each phone call made does open the possibility for an additional charge," Parker said.

Neither The Game nor his representatives could be reached for comment. 

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-- Andrew Blankstein (Twitter/anblanx)

Photo: The Game. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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