I-TEAM: 350 calls from one number to Cleveland 911, but no charges for tying up lines

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-Team has uncovered a report showing someone calling Cleveland 911 from the same number 350 times in a year.

And, this comes to light as we’ve shown you city dispatchers struggling to keep up with emergency calls. We obtained the recording of the most recent call from the number coming in hundreds of times.

You hear a dispatcher answer, “Cleveland 911, you need police, ambulance or fire?”

Then, silence.

The dispatcher then asks, “Hello?”

You hear only some background noise before the dispatcher says, “This is Cleveland Police, do you need assistance?”

The number comes back to a home near East 105th Street and Superior Avenue.

WJW photo

And, a report shows “350 calls from this number since March 2020,” “habitual caller,” and “tying up 911 lines.”

The I-Team has recently revealed the Cleveland 911 center, at times, overwhelmed. Often, short-staffed. And, sometimes not meeting state standards for answering 911 calls quickly enough. Many callers get put on hold in emergencies and get frustrated.

When someone calls 911 in Cleveland and hangs up, dispatchers try calling back. If they get no answer, they try to send a police car to check things out.

Anyone abusing the 911 system can be charged with a crime, yet we found no charges filed for the person named in the report for the 350 calls in a year.

We’re asking the chief’s office what’s being done about this caller? Why no charges?

Charges have been filed for misuse of 911 in other places such as Erie County.

Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth told us, “We’ve charged people here with misuse of 911. Generally, those calls involve people who are intoxicated. Then that individual is taking away from the time that the dispatchers need to have to answer the calls that are truly emergency in nature.”

Multiple times, we dialed the number used in the 350 calls to 911. We got no answer, and a recording said the voice mailbox is full.

A Cleveland police spokesperson is looking into this case. We’ll update the story with what we hear back.

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