Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Matassini Law Firm
FREE Consultations Available
813-217-5715
TAMPA
Matassini Law Firm > Blog > Law Firm News > Nick Matassini comments on Callers Misuse of 911 Calls Seen on Channel 8’s “On your Side” segment

Nick Matassini comments on Callers Misuse of 911 Calls Seen on Channel 8’s “On your Side” segment

NickMatassiniJr

Attorney Nick Matassini of the Matassini Law Firm was requested by the news source to give his professional opinion on this topic. Nick has been asked many times to speak on topics similar to this for the news.

Bogus calls bog down 911 system: How dispatchers handle misuse calls

By: Ryan Hughes

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – “911, what’s your emergency?” a Hillsborough County operator asked in 2013.

But, Jason Honaker did not have an emergency when he called the line devoted to emergencies only.

“You better put the knife down,” he said over the phone. “I’m telling you that right now!”

The prolific caller tied up emergency lines more than 1,200 times in 2013 with bizarre rants.

“He needs to put that knife down,” Honaker said into the phone.

It took a helicopter, undercover detectives and K-9 units to track Honaker to a Tampa-area printing press where deputies learned he made the prank calls using an unregistered cell phone.

“Misuse of 911 comes in many shapes and sizes,” said Brad Herron.

Herron runs the 911 center at the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

“To have adults call in that are literally utilizing the 911 system for either a joke or to send a law enforcement agency on a wild goose chase is certainly concerning,” Herron said.

8 On Your Side dug into statistics and learned that dozens of people are arrested each year for Misuse of 911 all over the state.

The crime is a misdemeanor, but someone convicted of it can face a felony and hefty fines, if they keep calling.

“Somebody is doing it to get a rival or otherwise just make a stunt and perhaps put it on social media or something like that. That’s going to be clearly the type of phone call that’s inappropriate and made with criminal intent,” said Nicholas Matassini, a Tampa attorney.

Justine Stickley has heard her fair share of crazy calls.

“It’s frustrating when that there’s other 911 callers probably trying to call in and possibly can’t get through because we’re busy,” said the 911 operator.

Bogus calls can bog down the system.

“One abuse of 911 call can take a 911 operator offline for anywhere between 5 and 10 minutes,” Herron said.

If one call center is busy, calls are re-routed to other counties or cities.

Technology makes every call easy to trace. When someone calls 911 from a landline phone officials know their exact location. But it is different with a cell phone. They can pinpoint the site within three football fields.

Some calls are resolved on the spot

“What?” said a young girl when a 911 operator called her back after she initially called the center for no reason.

“This is 911. I need to speak to an adult please,” the operator said.

The operator got stern with the young caller.

“I’m 20 but I don’t know,” the girl said.

“You’re not 20. I can tell you’re not 20,” the operator said.

Then the little girl got clever.

“My daughter has not called you and I don’t know why you all keep calling but can you please stop because we’re trying to {inaudible},” she said.

“This isn’t an adult. This is you speaking in a British accent. I need to speak to an adult,” the operator said.

Later, the girl’s mom got on the line and the call was handled.

Whether a random rant or a person asking for the time of day, Stickley always responds with a simple warning.

“I’ll explain to them that this line is for life and death emergencies and please do not utilize 911 for that,” she said.

Source:

wfla.com/8-on-your-side/bogus-calls-bog-down-911-system-how-dispatchers-handle-misuse-calls/1164974520

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

The experience you need in your pursuit of justice

The greatest distinguishing feature among attorneys is their level of experience. Our firm has more than 60 years of legal experience, much of it spent in the courtroom at trial. As a result, our Tampa personal injury lawyers rarely encounter an unfamiliar situation and can thoroughly answer your urgent questions. Our criminal defense practice features a board certified criminal trial lawyer and two former prosecutors with impressive knowledge of trial tactics and procedures.

The resources to provide quality representation for the length of your case

Whether your case involves medical malpractice, an auto accident or a wrongful death, your attorney must be prepared to take the case all the way through trial to verdict. Many personal injury attorneys advance the cost of litigation, so they can only last so long before financial pressures start to mount. As a client, you have to wonder whether an attorneys advice to settle your case reflects the quality of the offer or your attorneys need to get paid. Fortunately, The Matassini Law Firm has the resources to pursue civil verdicts and settlements that reflect the actual value of your case.

Call our Tampa Bay personal injury lawyers for a free consultation

A crisis in your life calls for capable and compassionate assistance. The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. addresses your needs all the way through the legal process. For your free initial confidential conference with one of our Tampa personal injury lawyers, call us today at 813-217-5715 or contact us online.

Share This Page:
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
888-377-0011
Toll Free
2811 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, Florida 33609
GET DRIVING DIRECTIONS
+