A 14-year-old boy was arrested and charged in connection with various crank 911 calls in Red Deer in recent weeks, say RCMP.
Red Deer City RCMP Cpl. Kathe DeHeer said that police and Red Deer Emergency Services have been dealing with 911 phone calls that turn out to be false.
“We have had several calls on 911 where someone has seen a caller from a pay phone take off running,” said DeHeer on Thursday. “So it’s kind of a consistent thing.”
The latest call came on Wednesday at around 10:30 a.m. A 911 dispatcher was told that shots were fired.
DeHeer said it’s believed this call took place from the pay phone in the entryway of the North Hill Store at 6314 59th Ave.
Woongki Kim, who was working behind the counter at the North Hill Store on Thursday, said there was some commotion on Wednesday where police were outside.
“I asked what happened and they said it was some kind of crank call,” Kim said.
About a couple weeks earlier, an undercover policeman came into the convenience store and was walking around. Again, it had something to do with a crank call, Kim said.
Mark Brown, pastor of Cornerstone Gospel Church, said he knows there’s a lot of youth come through the area.
Loaves and Fishes soup kitchen is just below the hill, so these young people who may be going to and from there are in the area. A lot of youth like to go to the store, he added.
DeHeer said often these types of calls result in emergency responders speeding off to the scene.
“These (callers) are endangering the life of the police officer or even the public sometimes, if we’re driving to get somewhere,” said DeHeer.
“Depending on the type of call, our response could be fast. When we speed to something, you always take your life in your hands. Plus, it ties up the 911 line, which prevents a real emergency line from being called in.”
Police arrested the Red Deer teen, whose name is protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, on Wednesday. He was released later that day.
DeHeer said the teen would likely have been charged with public mischief/and or making a false 911 call.
He may be facing charges in connection with several incidents, she added.