LONOKE COUNTY, Ark. – Phones in the Lonoke County 911 Center ring often.
Dispatcher Amber Duerson says prank calls can take up valuable time.
“Whether you’re telling me the truth or not, I have to treat you like you are,” says Duerson.
Investigators say since Friday, a 13-year-old boy has pranked the call center more than 100 times.
“I can’t put you on hold and answer another 911 call because there’s a chance you’re telling the truth,” says Duerson.
In some cases, Lonoke County deputies say the boy reported false emergencies. In other calls, the teenager hung up, according to officials.
“We stay very busy,” says Lonoke County Sheriff’s Captain David Bufford.
Captain Bufford says the first call seemed real, then more and more calls started coming in. Fake emergencies were being reported at various addresses on one specific road using several inactive cell phones.
“It went from medicals to kidnappings all the way to armed disturbances,” says Captain Bufford.
Captain Bufford says it’s not uncommon for 911 to get accidental calls from children but dispatchers are able to talk with parents.
“We do have very young children. I don’t know who they’re trying to call but they’ll call 911,” says Captain Bufford.
Duerson will dispatch all reported emergencies because she doesn’t know when the prank caller might be in need of real help.
“We don’t know you don’t genuinely have an emergency right now,” she says.
Captain Bufford says the Sheriff’s Office plans on filing charges.
The boy’s name is not being released because he is a minor.
Authorities say during the string of prank calls, there was no delay in responding to other emergencies.