911 operator arrested for hanging up on emergency calls

posted at 6:41 pm on October 13, 2016 by John Sexton

A Houston 911 operator named Crenshanda Williams has been arrested and charged with interfering with emergency calls after police discovered she was hanging up on people who were calling 911 for help. From CNN:

On March 12, a man identified as Hua Li dialed 911 at 8:10 p.m. to report an armed robbery.

Li had walked into a store that evening to buy lottery tickets. He heard someone yelling that there was a robbery and saw a man with a gun. Li counted five to six gunshots, then got into his car and drove away, as he tried to call for help.

Williams immediately hung up on Li’s first call, according to the charging documents.

A minute later, Li called again, and Williams answered: “Houston 911, do you need medical, police or fire?”
“This is a robbery,” Li responded.

Williams sighed before hanging up on him again, according to the charging documents.

On his third try, Li got a different 911 operator and was able to report the robbery. By the time officers arrived they found the store’s owner dead from gunshot wounds.

KPRC reports that a man who saw his wife collapse in their yard was hung up on by Williams when he called 911 for an ambulance:

In another instance, a 911 caller tried to report that people were racing trucks on the highway. As the caller tried to give out his location, Williams hung up on him. After she hung up, Williams said, “Ain’t nobody got time for this. For real.”

Her behavior was discovered after a supervisor noticed she had an unusual number of calls lasting under 20 seconds. She had apparently hung up on emergency callers thousands of times. When confronted by police, Williams admitted she hung up on callers when she didn’t feel like talking to them.

This report by WTHR includes an interview with Hua Li, the man who called in the robbery.


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