JANESVILLE, Wis. --
A former volunteer firefighter with the Footville Fire Department is accused of making false 911 calls.
Dustin Bentivegna, 24, made his initial appearance Tuesday in Rock County Circuit Court.
Authorities said Bentivegna admitted to making four 911 calls.
Authorities said the caller three times reported smelling a natural gas odor and once reported a problem with arcing wires. The Fire Department responded and said each call was unfounded.
Bentivegna appeared in court Tuesday without a lawyer, so the judge granted him a continuance to find one.
Bentivegna's apparent motive was to build camaraderie with other firefighters, according to investigators. The criminal complaint said Bentivegna made the calls so he could put on his uniform, ride in the truck and investigate with the other firefighters.
If convicted of the four misdemeanor charges, Bentivegna faces nearly a year in jail and a $1,200 fine.
He is scheduled to be back in court later this month.
Court records show Bentivegna was convicted Aug. 10 on a misdemeanor charge of impersonating a peace officer. He pleaded no contest and paid a $488 fine in connection to an incident on May 5.
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