Emergency Call Ends at Jail, not Hospital
Levy County sheriff's deputies say the man called 911 seven times claiming that he was stabbed in the throat by another man. But for the alleged caller, it led to a trip to jail, not to the hospital.
Levy County dispatchers estimate one out of every four calls isn't an emergency. A lot of hang-ups, and a few prank calls--especially once kids are out of school. But one early Tuesday seemed all too real.
A recording of the emergency calls reveals the caller asking a
dispatcher for help, saying, "He's going to kill me." With the wheezing in the voice, it seemed all too real.
But ten minutes later sheriff's deputies say they talked to the caller, 21-year-old Alexander Shelton, an active duty solider. His father says Shelton just got back two weeks ago from a 15-month stint in Iraq. But Shelton told deputies everything was fine.
"We originally went to the right address," says Lt. Evan Sullivan with the Levy County Sheriff's Office. "However we didn't know the right information because the caller would not give us that information, as far as where he was located."
Back at the communications center, dispatchers tried to identify an exact address as deputies went house to house, pounding on doors, trying to find the emergency.
"When you're not used to something happening like that, you're adrenaline goes through the roof" says Brian Capps with Levy County Communications. "You've really got to compose yourself."
But with this boost mobile phone being used, dispatchers could only get a general area of where the calls were coming from. It took 90 minutes to figure out who owned the phone. Deputies then went back to where Shelton was staying, and got Shelton to confess and show them where he gotten rid of the phone...on top of the back roof of a mobile home.
"For every call, you have to deal with it, you have to deal with the situation," says Capps. "It doesn't get thrown under the rug, we have to deal with each call."
That goes even for the hang-ups. So if you call 911 by accident, stay on the line to let the dispatchers know it was just an accident.
Shelton faces a felony and two misdemeanor charges for his actions.
Dan Breitwieser, WCJB TV 20 News.
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