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We are lucky to have a system in place that allows us to get into contact with emergency services when we are encountering a serious problem. Things like robberies, domestic violence, and medical emergencies happen every day.

Being able to dial 9-1-1 brings us the people we need to help out during these emergency situations.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who have not been equipped with the ability to understand the difference between an emergency and something that is just a nuisance. Or an imaginary problem.

Since people abuse the 9-1-1 system, laws are in place to deal with those who misuse the system. However, there are still plenty of people who choose to ignore it and dial the emergency number for the smallest complaints.

Here are some of the most ridiculous examples of 9-1-1 abuse that have taken place over the years:

Fed Up With iPhone

In 2011, Michael Skopec of Bristol, Illinois was arrested after trying to lodge a complaint about his new iPhone with the local 911 dispatcher in five separate phone calls.

He was arrested and charged with obstructing or resisting a peace officer.

Late Night Snack Attack

Having a late-night craving for Taco Bell, but Terry Lynn Kimbell thought he was doing the right thing choosing to walk rather than drive since he had been drinking.

A good call so far...

Unfortunately, the restaurant was only serving drive-thru customers at that late hour. Employees refused to serve Kimbell, who had walked through the drive-thru to place his order for some tacos. Unhappy with this, Kimbell called 911 and asked to have the police call the manager.

Police arrived and arrested Kimbell for misusing 911.

911 Matchmakers

In 2006, neighbors of Lorna Dudash called police because of a noise complaint. Maybe an emergency, maybe not.

When officers came out to investigate, one of the officers had caught the fancy of Ms. Dudash.

In an effort to get another chance to talk to the officer, Lorna reportedly called 911 to ask if the dispatcher could pass her phone number along to the officer, who was the “cutest cop” she had seen in a long time.

Lorna was soon to get another closer look at the deputy when he later returned to her home to arrest her for misuse of 911.

This is a crime that can be punishable by up to a year in jail and several thousand dollars in fines. Ms. Dudash received two years of probation, 100 hours of community service and $693 in fines for her inappropriate matchmaking attempt.

Bad Brownies

Even police officers can get caught up by the 911 system.

In April 2006, Edward Sanchez, a captain of the Dearborn Heights Police Department, called the emergency dispatcher when he and his wife ate some “special” brownies and became panicked that they might have overdosed with the marijuana.

The marijuana that was used to make those brownies, as it turns out, was confiscated from a criminal that Sanchez arrested earlier.

We're guessing he truly thought he had a medical emergency.

During the 911 call, Sanchez stated that he thought they were dying and at one point asked the dispatcher for the score for the Red Wings game. The couple was not charged for the theft or misuse of 911.

Sanchez was instead allowed to quietly resign from the force.


Updated: 03/02/2014