Update: Amber Alert hoax
Tue, 10 Nov 2009 20:02:03 GMT —
An Amber Alert hoax could land the caller in prison for four years.
Police say, a man reported a vehicle stolen, but to get police to work faster, told them his 6-month-old son was in the back seat.
The actual 911 call, obtained by NBC25 has the caller saying, "I'm reporting a car being stolen. My son is in the back seat of the car."
The caller, who identifies himself as Ronald Poledore told a Flint 911 dispatcher he was at McKinley Academy, went inside to check on his son who was taking a long time, and when he came back out his 2004 gray Ford Taurus was gone.
The 911 call has the dispatcher asking the caller, "Did you see which way it went?"
The caller says, "Sir...I came out of the school...I know they had two gentlemen standing out there. One was wearing a black leather jacket...he had hood on it and he had dreadlocks in his head. I'm not sure which way they went."
Immediately, 8 Flint Police vehicles, several Genesee County Sheriff's Deputies, and Burton Police officers, along with an entire community were on the look-out for the reportedly missing boy.
Dispatchers say, 27 significant calls were put on hold while the search went on.
In the end, the baby was found safe at home, where he had always been. The vehicle was found in the north side of Flint, and the caller could be facing charges.
Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton says, "When somebody files a false police report alleging a felony crime has occurred, that really hasn't, that in and of itself is a felony punishable by up to four years in state prison."
Unfortunately, hoaxes and false police reports aren't uncommon in our area. You may remember last fall there were reports of gang initiations where people would walk up and shoot women who were pumping their vehicles with gas. Those reports were not true.
Leyton says, "The problem with it all is that it ties up police. Police are putting aside real calls and real people in harms way to address a bogus call, and that's just unfair and not right."
Flint dispatch says, of the calls it gets, around five percent contain discrepancies.