Man Arrested for Calling 911 More Than 27,000 Times


 
 

Nanette Asimov | | Tuesday, February 19, 2008


SAN FRANCISCO -- Hayward, Calif., police and federal investigators did the grunt work, and it paid off:

They tracked down and arrested a cell phone caller believed to have phoned the emergency 911 number more than 27,000 times making bodily noises, muttering in a disguised voice, and pressing the beep tone.

On Wednesday night, police arrested John Triplette, 45, of Hayward on suspicion of abusing the 911 emergency line, a misdemeanor punishable by $1,000 fine and/or six months in jail.

"He completely overwhelmed our system," said Desi Calzada, manager of the Hayward Communications Center, which operates 911. "He delayed the answering of other 911 calls because we were answering his."

It all started last May, when the California Highway Patrol's communication center in Vallejo began receiving copious 911 calls from a mysterious caller using a T-Mobile cell phone. Over a seven-month period, the caller placed 17,000 calls to the CHP.

In early January, Hayward's dispatch center took over the local 911 calls and became the new target of the bogus calls.

"The caller would make various noises, including grunts and other bodily noises, minimal conversation in a disguised voice, beeps from the touch pad, etc.," according to Lt. Chris Orrey, a spokeswoman for the Hayward Police Department.

In a single week, the center received 1,327 calls from the same phone, inflating the number of incoming calls by 30 percent.

Then Calzada and Hayward police Detective Bill Alexander contacted the Federal Communications Commission, which can track 911 frequencies and pinpoint a single caller's location.

But before he was nabbed, the caller managed to grunt in another 10,000 calls to the police, as well as 4,000 to the Solano County Sheriff's Department, Orrey said in a written statement.

When the investigators finally located the cell phone at Triplette's home in the 24000 block of Amador Street, Triplette apologized for making the calls, according to Orrey's account.

His explanation for all those calls?

Triplette told police, "Because it's free."


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Communications and Dispatch, Legal and Ethical

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

The Evolution of Civilian High Threat Medical Guidelines

How mass killing events have proven a need for new guidelines.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Authorities Investigate Firefighters at Arizona EMS Call

Confrontation caught on video involving Glendale firefighters.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Radio Problems for New York Medics

Medic’s radio failed during a call with an armed patient.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

AMR Prepares Ambulance for Ebola Patient

Patient preparedness in Oregon.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Oregon Department Revises EMS System

Bend brings in EMTs to meet growing demands.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Ottawa Shooting Incident

Solider is shot by gunman at national memorial in Ottawa.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Life Link III Trauma Tactics Conference in Minnesota

Conference was designed to enhance the skills of providers of all levels, covering rescue and prehospital situations, to transport and in-hospital treatment.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >