Fake 911 call results in charge

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Mike DuPre'
Saturday, July 26, 2008
— A 14-year-old Janesville girl was referred to juvenile authorities Friday morning on a misdemeanor charge of making a false 911 call.

She had called the emergency number to say she had been abducted and was being held in a basement.

None of it was true, and it was the second time the girl had tied up Janesville police officers with a false claim, Lt. Tom Wolfram said.

Her first false report was similar in that she had said she was being held in a basement by a relative, Wolfram said.

Four officers worked about 40 minutes each Friday trying to find the girl, and one of them spent another half hour processing her misdemeanor referral, he said.

“When someone does that, other calls that could be high priority are stacked up and won’t be answered because our resources are diverted,” Wolfram said. “When we find them, we will arrest them.”

Furthermore, Kathy Sukus, operations manager for Rock County 911 Communications Center, said that since Jan. 1, a dozen abandoned 911 calls—those in which the caller hangs up—had been made from the cell phone the girl used Friday.

The center’s abandoned call records show only the phone number, not who made the call, Sukus added.

The girl’s call came at 9:30 a.m. She did not give her location.

Six of eight people working at the 911 Center took 36 minutes using GPS technology and other methods to locate the girl at a residence on Green Valley Drive, Sukus said.

“We have to assume everything is real,” Sukus said.

Such prank calls tie up dispatchers and phone lines and put police and firefighters at risk because they respond in fast emergency mode, she said.

“If we know it’s a prank, we will exhaust every resource to find (and arrest) them,” Sukus said.

Last updated: 9:44 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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