The fake hostage situation the Los Angeles Police Department responded to at Ashton Kutcher’s house last week will wind up costing the city a whole lot more than time and mental energy. The final monetary figures won’t be known for weeks or even months, but right now, sources within the police department reportedly expect it to end up north of $10,000. That might not be an astronomical amount of money for the taxpayers of Los Angeles, but it’s an astronomical amount of money for a thoughtless, reckless prank.

According to TMZ, the LAPD dispatched a few dozen officers, a helicopter and quite a few vehicles to rescue the deaf woman supposedly held hostage in Ashton Kutcher’s bathroom by three men with guns. Upon their arrival, officers handcuffed and detained three men, but they later discovered the guys were merely workers who were supposed to be there. The girl, who called 911 using the teletext service for the deaf, wasn’t inside and assumedly, never was.

Not only is this entire situation a strain on taxpayers, it’s frustrating for the deaf community too. Now, the next time someone with hearing problems calls 911 in Los Angeles using teletext, it’s possible emergency responders will be wondering in the back of their heads whether it’s just a big joke.

There’s a difference between a good-natured prank and a dangerous lie, and this mess definitely fell into the latter category.

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