Dial 9-1-1 for emergencies — only!  It’s a message police officers want to make sure everyone hears and understands to help keep all of us safe.  However, the message doesn’t seem to be clear to some people.
The 8 News NOW I-Team took a closer look at the issue and the 9-1-1 abuse incident that landed one man behind bars.

Records show Larry Roberts, has been arrested at least three times in the past two years for repeatedly calling 9-1-1, but he never had an emergency.

Roberts: “Hello?”
9-1-1 Operator: “Hello?  Hello?”
Roberts: “Who’s this?”
9-1-1 Operator: “This is 911.  Do you have an emergency, sir?”

Roberts did not have an emergency, and after numerous calls, a Metro Police Officer responded to investigate Roberts’ alleged 9-1-1 abuse. The officer left Roberts home with an injury from a bite.

According to police records, Roberts, 29, got into a scuffle with police, took an officer’s Taser and tried to use it. The incident happened after Roberts called 9-1-1 around 40 times within an hour on March 15.  The report said Roberts even told several operators he was having sex with his boyfriend, before asking them if they wanted to watch.

Roberts: “Hello?”
9-1-1 Operator: “Oh, I can’t wait for the police to get out there and arrest you, sir.  This is gonna be outstanding.  Thank you for calling.”
Roberts: “Who is this?” 
9-1-1 Operator: “Have a nice day, sir. And we’ll have the police come and take you out to jail.”

Abusing 9-1-1 is a problem dispatchers, and first responders face all of the time. It’s something that affects everyone because it can prevent the people who answer those calls from helping with real emergencies.

It may not always be criminal, but 9-1-1 abuse has become such a problem in Clark County there are public service announcements about the issue.

In 2016, the Clark County Fire Department held a press conference pleading with the public to call only for true emergencies.

“We get stubbed toe calls; calls for all kinds of things that wouldn’t be deemed an emergency by any stretch of the imagination,” said Greg Cassell, Clark County Fire.

Police traced Roberts’ calls to catch him.  Officers said when they arrived at his Las Vegas home they found him with a meth pipe and a cell phone in his hand.

Police say he was acting erratically and that’s when he bit the officer.

Roberts was charged with unlawful use of an emergency number, assault, battery and more. One of his charges connected with biting the officer is the intentional transmission of HIV.

There’s no word on whether or not the officer is okay.

On his last call to 9-1-1 that day Robert said, “I won’t do it no more. I’m sorry.”

“Ok,” the operator said.

Roberts is in jail, and his jury trial is scheduled for Aug. 28.

According to court records, in the past, Roberts had been placed in a mental institute.