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Los Angeles man arrested over prank calls to coaches

Source: Reuters - Wed, 11 Dec 2013 02:38 AM
Author: Reuters
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LOS ANGELES, Dec 10 (Reuters) - A Los Angeles man accused of calling professional American football coaches with pretend offers of jobs with other teams has been arrested on suspicion of felony eavesdropping, police said on Tuesday.

Kenneth Tarr, 32, was taken into custody on Monday at his home, said Los Angeles officer Gregory Baek, a police spokesman.

Under the California law Tarr was accused of violating, it is illegal to record a phone conversation with a person when the individual has not given consent, which police say Tarr did when he called coaches.

Tarr last month told KNBC television, a Los Angeles NBC affiliate, that he had "hoaxed NFL coaches" and that he was "on the new frontier of broadcast journalism."

In October, a man who identified himself as Tarr contacted the sports website Deadspin.com and said he had called Tony Dungy, a former head coach with the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, and pretended to offer him a head coaching position at the University of Southern California.

Dungy at one point mentioned on a sports talk show that USC had reached out to him, apparently out of a mistaken belief that the prankster who called him was legitimate.

Baek confirmed the case against Tarr involved accusations that he called a number of coaches from the National Football League, the National Basketball Association and the ranks of college football and that he pretended to offer jobs with other professional or college teams.

KNBC, citing unnamed sources, said at least a dozen coaches from the NFL, NBA and college football teams were victims of the illegal eavesdropping. They included Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier and San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, KNBC reported.

Tarr was held in custody on $20,000 bail, Los Angeles police officer Sally Madera told City News Service. (Reporting by Steve Gorman, Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Mohammad Zargham)

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