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FORMER HOUSTON 911 OPERATOR GETS JAIL TIME FOR HANGING UP ON CALLERS

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A former 911 operator in Houston found guilty of hanging up on emergency calls was sentenced yesterday to 10 days in jail and 18 months of probation.

The Harris County District Attorney’s office says jurors found 44-year-old Crenshanda Williams guilty of the misdemeanor charge of interference with emergency telephone calls.

Prosecutors say she had been a 911 operator for a year and a half, until 2016. Records showed thousands of calls of less than 20 seconds were attributed to her hang-ups. The calls ranged from reports of speeding to robbery and even homicide.

Williams reportedly told investigators she often hung up because she didn’t want to talk to anyone at those times.

Investigators said she once hung up on a man whose wife collapsed and lost consciousness. An ambulance was dispatched after another operator answered a second call; the woman survived.

Williams also reportedly hung up on a robbery in progress. A man called 911 after an armed robber targeted the convenience store in which he was buying lottery tickets. Police say Williams hung up on him. The man called back and reached a different operator. By the time police arrived, however, the manager had already been shot and killed.

Another man said he called to report two vehicles racing on a stretch highway on which people had died speeding just weeks earlier. Court documents indicate Williams took the call, and before the caller could finish speaking, she reportedly said, “Ain’t nobody got time for this. For real,” and hung up, according to news sources.

Williams’ attorney, Franklin Bynum, said the case revealed what he called “systematic” problems at the Houston Emergency Center and chalked up Williams’ behavior to her experiencing “a hard time in her life.”

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