Monday, February 28, 2011

Man Accused of Prank Calling 911 More Than 18,000 Times

Lauren Frayer - A Los Angeles man has been arrested after allegedly making more than 18,000 prank calls to the 911 emergency hotline.

Maurice Cruz, 43, was arrested Friday on suspicion of misusing 911 emergency lines to annoy or harass, the Los Angeles Times reported. That charge is a misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine and up to six months in prison. He was released later the same day on bail.

The California Highway Patrol says it believes Cruz used a deactivated cell phone -- which has no service plan but still works for emergency numbers -- to make the prank calls over the past six months. There's no word on a motive or details of what he said in the calls.

Because he used a deactivated phone, the calls were difficult to trace. But the California Highway Patrol, with help from the Secret Service, eventually tracked the phone calls to Cruz's home in East Los Angeles, where he was arrested. They also seized several cell phones and chargers from his home, local KABC TV reported.

In a separate case, another California man was also arrested Friday for allegedly making more than 2,000 obscene phone calls to female dispatchers on several emergency hotlines.

Investigators say Israel Vasquez, 34, would frequently call his local sheriff's department, police and highway patrol in the town of Stanton. If a male dispatcher answered the call, he would remain quiet, but if a female answered, he would allegedly unleash a mouthful of obscenities. ...

via Man Accused of Prank Calling 911 More Than 18,000 Times.

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