Henderson Police Stake Out Man Accused of Misusing 911 - 8 News NOW

Henderson Police Stake Out Man Accused of Misusing 911

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The Henderson Dispatch Center handles incoming 911 calls. The Henderson Dispatch Center handles incoming 911 calls.
Tuy Thai, 35, of Henderson Tuy Thai, 35, of Henderson

HENDERSON, Nev. -- Henderson police have arrested a man they said called 911 thousands of times without having an emergency.

According to police, Tuy Thai, 35, whom they described as a serial crank caller, would flood their dispatch center, preventing people with real emergencies from getting through quickly.

Police suspect the total number could be at least 3,600 times over a year period.

Each time, dispatchers would get a phone call and then the caller would just hang up.

This continues until Henderson police said they set up a sting and caught the crank caller in the act.

Every 911 call placed in Henderson comes through a room filled with computer screens and dispatchers.

Overheard is a dispatcher asking for a person's last name.

People call the center with real emergencies, oftentimes with life hanging in the balance.

"When it comes down to it emergencies ... every second can count and there are times he could have prevented people from getting to a dispatcher quickly," Henderson Police spokesman Keith Paul said. "What he's accused of doing is calling 911, not saying anything, but just hanging up. And we know what number it's coming from. We re-call the number and he just doesn't answer."

The calls began more than a year ago, always coming from a cell phone without a registered address. At one point, dispatchers were able to get a hold of Thai.

"In the past we have spoken with him about this and he's denied calling 911, saying other people have used his phone, that something else had happened," Paul said.

This week, Henderson police triangulated Thai's location and staked him out.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, police say Thai's phone called 911 another 59 times and he was the only one with the phone at the time.

"We asked him if he had an emergency situation," Paul said. "He said he did not and then he denied making 911 calls and then came up with an excuse saying that his phone was broken and that it would automatically call 911."

Police then arrested Thai for the bogus hang-ups and tying up 911 resources. Investigators said he will be charged with only the calls they can prove he made himself.

He's been booked on 59 counts of misusing 911, a gross misdemeanor in Nevada that could bring a year in jail and $2,000 per count. If he's convicted he could face up to 59 years in prison.

Thai is being held at the Henderson Detention Center on a $59,000 bond. Paul said it is up to a judge to order any mental evaluations.

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