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September 25, 2021

Man Jailed for Repeatedly Calling Emergency Services—He Just Wanted to Complain

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Indiana resident Daniel Schroeder was sentenced to 60 days in jail after calling 911 several times to complain about his exhaustion.

The 911 hotline was created to help people in emergencies, such as accidents or risky situations. However, there are still a few who misuse the hotline.

Most recently, 61-year-old Daniel Schroeder became one of those who dialed 911 for no emergency reason other than to complain.

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911 HOTLINE MISUSE

The Indiana man rang the hotline several times to tell operators that he was exhausted. According to the police report, “the male caller kept calling in stating that he was tired.”

A day before, he pleaded guilty to using the 911 hotline for reasons other than its intended purpose, and before that, Schroeder called to report a relative breaking his rules.

A judge revoked Shroeder’s six-month jail sentence for those incidents “on the condition the deft does not call 911 unless it is an emergency.” However, Shroeder violated it by repeatedly calling 911 the following day.

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PLEADING GUILTY

He later pleaded guilty to his latest misuse of the hotline and received a 60-day sentence at the Vanderburgh County jail.

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The woman stood before a Massachusetts barbershop and called 911 to report that her son was given a shorter haircut than what she wanted. 

Upon investigation, it was revealed Schroeder had been previously convicted four times for driving while intoxicated and has convictions for leaving the scene of an accident and drug possession.

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DISRUPTING WORK AND EMERGENCIES

Calling 911 for reasons other than its intended purpose can prevent those with actual emergencies from getting the assistance they need on time.

According to an Arizona State University’s Center for Problem-Oriented Policing study, “phantom calls” or the act of unintentionally dialing 911 is the most common misuse of the hotline.

Since some dispatchers can automatically detect a caller’s location to send responders immediately, hotline misuse can waste time and redirect dispatchers from the real emergency scene.

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Aside from wrong dialing, others call 911 for non-emergency requests, including reporting a crime that happened days ago.

Some callers also exaggerate their stories to get responders to arrive faster or call to reduce their loneliness or fear, the latter being usually from psychologically ill people.

A woman whose footage went viral on TikTok recently showed that she was among those who misused the emergency hotline for shallow reasons.

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In the viral clip, the woman stood before a Massachusetts barbershop and called 911 to report that her son was given a shorter haircut than what she wanted. 

She added that the barber was threatening and taking videos of her while demanding the cops’ help to get the barber away. Although what the operator said wasn’t heard, the woman ended up leaving the barber.

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