(WAY TO GO, SPOTS COUNTY!)
Calling 911 too often leads to woman's arrest Woman gets arrested for calling 911 in Spotsylvania County too many times.
Date published: 2/23/2006
By BILL FREEHLING
A Spotsylvania County woman was charged Tuesday with misusing the county's 911 emergency system after she had a dispute with her teenage son.
Nancy Brown, 46, was charged with one count of the misdemeanor offense, which is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Spotsylvania sheriff's Maj. Michael Timm said the charge is fairly rare; he said there are about a half-dozen such charges a year. He said the county ordinance is in effect to make sure 911 is reserved for emergency calls.
Brown said she called 911 Tuesday morning after having an argument with her 16-year-old son about school. She said her son spit on her face; she said she was scared and called 911.
Timm said Brown first called the 911 center at 7:10 a.m. He said a deputy went to her Ballantraye home, and Brown's son went to school after he arrived. Timm said the spit didn't hit Brown so the boy wasn't charged.
Brown called 911 again at 7:49 a.m., Timm said. She didn't like the way the first deputy handled things, and she requested that his supervisor come talk to her.
Sgt. E.A. Boyd went to her home, Timm said. As he was leaving, they exchanged words. Brown again called 911 and asked for a different supervisor.
Boyd then went back inside and charged her with violating the county ordinance for misusing 911 after being ordered to stop calling the emergency line.
Brown said she was handcuffed and taken to the magistrate's office, where she was given a $2,500 unsecured bond and a March 2 arraignment date. She was also ordered to complete a parenting course.
Brown said she was just scared and didn't think she was doing anything wrong. She said she walked home from the magistrate's office.
Timm said people sometimes won't like the way deputies handle calls, but he said they shouldn't tie up 911 unless it's a true emergency. He encouraged people to instead call the dispatch center's nonemergency line--540/582-7115.
The county's ordinance states that it's a class one misdemeanor to call 911 without just cause to get directions, phone numbers or other general information for nonemergency purposes.
To reach BILL FREEHLING: 540/374-5424
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02-23-2006, 12:10 PM #1
"All I did was call 911, why you arrestin' me?"
02-23-2006, 05:03 PM #2
I am guilty once of calling 911 to get the non-emergency number, the call taker seemed happy enough to give it to me.
However I can sympathise with the officials and especially 911 operators that have to deal with such BS as the Burger King lady, or the folks who call in for the time etc.
As far as the case in question, I dont have a problem with folks complaining about how the police treat them ( occasionally the cops do become complacent and rude) but it is NOT an emergency.
Kudos for bringing her up on charges for 911 abuseI.A.C.O.J. "The Cork"
02-24-2006, 10:54 AM #3
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There was a somewhat similar case a few years back, in Victoria. I was working in the Rescue Coordination Centre at the time, and on a real snotty weather day, we got a marine search call come in.
The caller was claiming to be somewhere around a place called Race Rocks - you westcoaster types know the area. Lost in fog, and out of fuel. After about 3hrs of intense search by US and CA coast guard and air force, we got a call from a neighbour.
Seems that the 2nd caller reported that he could hear his neighbour (who was pinned to the Nines) was sitting in his boat, on the trailer, in the driveway, making mayday radio calls.
Last I heard charges were laid, but I dont recall the final outcome. There was talk of a heafty fine and possible 1yr jail time for misuse of 911 services. We were actually called on to make a study for how much in cash dollar value for each SAR resource that was used on that call. The Labrador (we still had a couple flying then) was well over 100K for its time.If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)
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02-24-2006, 03:36 PM #4
Yes, on your type of story 2Seven they get to charge the "perp" + the added punishment of paying for resources wasted. And on a big SAR like you described, it can ge astronimical.
With a police call, there arn't typically any specialized equipment called into service.I.A.C.O.J. "The Cork"
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