Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Man jailed after calling 911 over 50 times

The firefighters and paramedics at Rescue 9 in Tampa, Florida say they know Isidoro Acosta all too well. This month Acosta has called 911 more than 50 times, falsely seeking medical assistance. Each time, Rescue 9 has responded.

Each time, firefighters say, lives have been endangered and personnel and equipment have been tied up.

Early Sunday morning Acosta was back at it.

Firefighters responded to a call from a gas station. It was Acosta. Firefighters then called police.

Acosta ran away before being apprehended. The Cuban national, with mental health problems, "made numerous excited statements that he could call 911 any time he wanted for his medication or a ride." After being read his rights, Acosta invoked his right to remain silent.

Firefighters say they repeatedly have explained to Acosta that his calls do not constitute a 911 emergency. When they respond, they say, Acosta is aggressive and belligerent. "He appears to think the 911 system is some kind of big game," the report states.

Acosta was charged with abuse of the 911 system. He was being held in jail. Bail was set at $500. (info from Tampa Bay Online)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Woman called 911 to say she drowned daughter

A Citrus Heights, Caliornia woman tried to drown her two-year-old daughter late Saturday, leaving the infant in critical condition. Fotini Huntley was booked into Sacra-mento County jail Sunday on attempted murder charges and held without bail.

Huntley called 911 around 9:50 p.m. and told dispatchers that she had drowned her daughter. When authorities arrived, Huntley was standing outside her apartment. Police detained her and went inside to check on the infant.

She was unconscious, so they immediately began performing CPR. It wasn't clear how long the baby had been unconscious, said Citrus Heights Police Lt. Gina Anderson. The baby was rushed to UC Davis Medical Center.

The baby's father, Anthony Huntley said that his wife has a long history of mental illness, though she has never tried anything like this before. "She's schizophrenic," he said. "She's been on medication for that for a few years." Anthony Huntley said he wasn't home when the alleged incident occurred.

Neighbors said Fotini Huntley often kept to herself. Angela Quimby said, "He always did all the talking. (Fotini Huntley) just kept her head down."

Other than being quiet, Quimby and other neighbors said they never noticed anything different about Fotini Huntley. They said it was clear, though, that the baby was in loving hands. "(Anthony) seems like a really good dad," Quimby said. "He would always hold her. The mom would just look down." (info from the Sacramento Bee)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Man Kept Calling 911 'For No Reason'

Police deputies in Hillsborough County, Florida said that even though they were nearby, Christopher Hubbard made repeated phone calls to 911 "for no reason" Saturday night. So they arrested him.

But Hubbard would not go quietly into a patrol car.

After being arrested Hubbard was handcuffed. As he was being placed in a patrol car, he kicked and curled himself into a ball to prevent deputies from placing him in the car. Hubbard then stiffened his body several times. As a result, deputies shackled his legs. Once inside the car, Hubbard repeatedly banged his head against a window.

Hubbard was charged with misusing the 911 system and resisting arrest. (info from Tampa Bay Online)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Woman threatened to shoot 911 operator

A woman called 911 in Tampa, Florida on September 14 and told the operator that if she had an AK-47 assault rifle, "she would stick it in the 911 operator's mouth and shoot it."

Police responded to the false 911 call shortly after 7AM and found Khaliyah Limehouse at a pay phone. When they arrived, Limehouse started yelling that she made the 911 call and "would kill the officers if she had a gun."

As she was being arrested, Limehouse kicked an officer in the legs and hips and tried to bite him, police said. After her arrest, officers found 1 gram of marijuana in Limehouse's purse, according police.

Limehouse was charged with making a false 911 call, obstructing or opposing an officer with violence, possession of marijuana and two counts of battery on a law enforcement officer. (info from Tampa Bay Online)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Woman arrested for calling 911 while cop was at her house

A Tampa, Florida woman landed in jail Monday after calling 911 while a police deputy was investigating a dispute at her house.

Desire Dominique Davis was being held in jail for abusingthe 911 system with bail set at $1,000. She was also charged with resisting arrest. The deputy responded to Davis' home at 11:02 p.m. to investigate "a possible battery and civil issue." Davis became "irate and argumentative and started screaming and waving her arms." This was reported to be her third arrest for obstructing an officer.

The deputy asked Davis several times to walk away and stop interfering with the inquiry, but she refused. Instead, Davis called 911. The 911 call was considered abuse of the 911 system because there was no emergency.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Murderer called 911 to report his crime

Police arrested and booked a man suspected of killing his roommate in the Los Angeles loft they shared. Bruce Kalberg allegedly shot his roomate on Septermber 11, said officer Julianne Sohn. The two men got into an argument before the shots were fired, Sohn said.

The victim died of a single shot to the upper torso and Kalberg was arrested after calling 911. "In the initial call, the man told the dispatcher he'd just killed someone," Sohn said.

The shooting occurred in a large live-work loft in an industrial neighborhood north of downtown. Kalberg was booked for suspicion of murder and is being held in lieu of $1 million bail. He is the former publisher of the Los Angeles punk chronicle No Mag and author of the novel "Sub-Hollywood" under the name Bruce Caen. (info from The San Francisco Chronicle & MetalJazz.com)

Monday, September 22, 2008

NOT a wacko! Dog called 911 to save owner

A service dog trained to use the phone called 911 and got help when his Scottsdale, Arizona, owner suffered a serious seizure. Buddy, an 18-month-old German shepherd, used his teeth to press a programmed button and a 911 dispatcher came on the line.

Buddy can be heard whimpering in a recording of the call placed from the home of Joe Stalnaker, who suffers seizures from injuries received during military service. Buddy previously had made several 911 calls for other emergencies.

"He's my world. He's my best friend, no question. He's always there," said Stalnaker, who was hospitalized for two days but has recovered. (info from UPI)

Monday, September 8, 2008

911 call delay may have led to murder

On June 24, the night Beatriz "Betty" Orozco was killed, someone in her Oceanside, California house called 911. But the caller hung up. And the 911 dispatcher didn't call back to investigate. After police responded to a second 911 call 20 minutes later, they found the young mother dead inside her blood-covered kitchen.

The failed response to the first 911 call was a mistake, police Sgt. Kelan Poorman said last week. The department's procedure requires dispatchers to call back when they get a hang up on a 911 call. And if there is no response, officers are supposed to be sent to the scene.

Could a response have saved Orozco, 24, from what police say may have been a jealousy-fueled attack at the hands of her husband? "We don't know," Poorman said. The dispatcher "doesn't know why" she didn't return the call, Poorman said.

Poorman, the department's spokesman, said he cannot yet share the results of an internal investigation into the incident. But he said one thing was clear: The investigation shows that in all other cases, dispatchers have correctly responded to 911 calls, including those in which the caller hangs up.

"I think they (the public) should still have confidence in the Police Department," Poorman said. "It was an isolated incident." This sort of failure to respond to a 911 hang up, he said, is simply not supposed to happen. Although he declined to release the name of the dispatcher, Poorman said she has been on the job for 21 years.

Now, the veteran employee, one of at least four dispatchers who were working the morning the call came in, faces discipline that could range from an official reprimand to losing her job.

When police arrived at the home, Beatriz Orozco was dead, allegedly at the hands of her husband, Jose Luis Orozco. He lay bleeding beside her, from what police say were self-inflicted knife wounds. In between them on the kitchen floor, police found the couple's 3-year-old child, physically unharmed.

It is not clear who placed the first 911 call, which came from inside the home. The call was already disconnected when the dispatcher answered the phone, Poorman said.

The second distress call, the one that police responded to, was made from the cellphone of a man authorities have identified as the victim's boyfriend. The man was outside the home when he apparently saw Beatriz Orozco trying to escape out of a closed second-story bedroom window as she fended off the knife-wielding suspect.

The boyfriend jumped on the roof to try to break the window and stop the assault on his married girlfriend, who reportedly had just confirmed the affair to her husband and announced her intention to leave him. When the boyfriend could not get inside the home, he used his cellphone to call 911. The time was 1:09 a.m. Within two minutes, call logs indicate, police units were dispatched.

Police got to the home and spotted the carnage when they peered through a sliding glass backdoor and broke in. There was blood in almost every room in the home.

A supervisor uncovered the mistake during the routine audit that follows a critical incident such as a homicide, Poorman said. Officials have ordered the department's 18 dispatchers to receive a refresher course on how to respond to 911 hang ups.

It remains to be seen what effect the human error will have on the murder case facing Jose Orozco. He faces 26 years to life in prison if convicted of using a knife to commit first-degree murder.(info from North County Times)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Construction crew cut off Texas town's 911 service for second time in two weeks

For the second time in as many weeks, service to the Friendswood Texas emergency phone center was disrupted on Thursday. A ditch bulkhead wall put up by a work crew collapsed and cut phone lines to the city's public safety building.

Two weeks ago, the same work crew severed the phone lines with a backhoe.

Thursday's phone disruptions happened at about noon. An automatic switch sent all 911 calls to nearby Webster, where Friendswood dispatchers stationed themselves until the phone lines were fixed. It was not until 7PM that all the circuits had been completely restored.

Friendswood Police Chief Bob Wieners said the work crews failed to stabilize the ditch bulkheads that surrounded the phone lines. The crew was working to install a sewer line for a nearby office complex.

Police said they are fed up with having phone service being disrupted, so the superintendent on the construction site was issued two misdemeanor citations. He was cited for reckless damage as well as violating city codes. (info from KHOU TV)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Woman gets probation for calling 911 for fun

Toni Graham of Marshall Missouri pleaded guilty Sept. 3, to a class B misdemeanor charge of making false 911 calls. Judge James Bellamy sentenced Graham to two years court-supervised probation.

Graham was charged July 9 after making numerous false 911 calls to the Saline County Sheriff's Department on July 5. Deputies were able to track down the caller by using her cellphone number.

Graham denied making the calls, but eventually admitted it, telling deputies she did it "for fun." (info from The Marshall Democrat-News)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Man called 911 to have beer delivered

It brought new meaning to "Protect and Serve."

Last November, in Hebron, Connecticut, Brian Poulin was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct after he called 911 several times, asking police to bring him beer.

Police said he called 911 numerous times and told police he was out of beer and asked them to pick up more for him. Poulin was transported to Windham Community Memorial Hospital, but police did not say what he was treated for. He apparently was very thirsty. He was scheduled to appear in Superior Court on a later date. (info from NBC30.com)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Cops apologize for 12 hour delay in 911 call response where woman was killed

Police chief Bob Rich of Abbotsville in Canada apologized Friday because his service did not follow standard protocol when it took almost 12 hours to respond to a 911 call. The woman who had placed the call was found dead.

Abbotsford police concluded that although the dispatcher did not believe there was an emergency underway at the woman's apartment, standard procedures were not followed and an officer should have been sent to respond. Hendrikje Priester was discovered in her apartment on the morning of March 25, the victim of what police described as a domestic homicide. An investigation was launched after then-Abbotsford police chief Ian Mackenzie learned of the incident.

Rich, who was deputy chief with the Vancouver police department until taking the top position in Abbotsford in July, said he met with Priester's family to report the findings and to apologize.

"It was very difficult for them to go through all the details with them, so I appreciated how open they were to taking the facts and to understand what had occurred that night," Rich said. "We obviously are doing everything we can to ensure that this doesn't happen again." He apologized again to the whole community.

On the night of March 24, a dispatcher received a 911 hang-up call from Priester's home. When the operator called back, no one answered. On a third attempt, the dispatcher had a conversation with a man and determined that police response was not required.

"She did her best to find out what was going on... which is exactly what we ask them to do," Rich said. But he added that she still should have dispatched an officer. He said she has since been disciplined and reassigned to another department.

Rich said it is impossible to determine what the outcome might have been had officers been dispatched immediately. "That's the horrible question we're left with," he said. Rich said details of the conversation and the investigation would not be publicly available because the homicide is still subject to court proceedings.

Priester's common-law husband was charged with second-degree murder. However, a stay of proceedings has been ordered pending further evidence from police. Rich said he was unaware of a similar situation occurring in the past in Abbotsford. He said the department receives tens of thousands of 911 calls each year, but officers do not respond to all of them. "The operator's No. 1 job is to determine when a police officer should be dispatched and when there shouldn't be a response." (info from The Vancouver Sun)