Jessup man charged with making false 911 calls that sent police scrambling

March 06, 1994|By Ed Heard | Ed Heard,Sun Staff Writer

A 27-year-old Jessup man, whose 911 calls prompted large-scale police searches twice in the past year, has been charged with making false reports to police.

Police served Edward Wayne Carter, of the 6900 block of Dorsey Road, with two arrest warrants Thursday night.

The first 911 call, on May 16 1993, told of a drowning baby in an Elkridge creek.

On Feb. 2, police say, Mr. Carter reported that he had returned home to a burglary in progress and that the burglar had fired two shots at him before fleeing.

According to court documents, Mr. Carter told police he lied because he has hypertension and because he experiences moments when he cannot control himself.

Detectives became suspicious of Mr. Carter when they investigated the alleged burglary, which turned up nothing.

Police say the man signed a statement admitting the burglary was a hoax and also told officers he made up the story about seeing the drowning baby last spring.

Carter was released on an unsecured $500 bond Thursday night.

Making a false report or statement to police carries a $500 fine and up to six months' imprisonment.

"We get a lot of false reports and when we can prove it, we charge," says Sgt. Steven E. Keller, county police spokesman. "It takes us away from other services we could be providing to legitimate crime victims or for other enforcement to prevent crime."

Police responded to the Feb. 2 burglary and shooting report with two tactical units, a K-9 unit, a state police helicopter search team and several other officers who searched the woods near Mr. Carter's home.

Last spring, police say, Mr. Carter reported that he was gardening when he saw a baby in a car carrier floating down the rapid Deep Run creek behind his home.

More than 50 emergency workers from Howard, Baltimore, Anne Arundel and Montgomery counties searched the 6-mile-long creek for seven hours on May 16, then continued looking the next day.

"The longer the time went by, we felt there was a decreased possibility that we would recover the infant alive," said Howard fire and rescue services Battalion Chief Donald Howell, who participated in the search.

Chief Howell said that, although false reports can frustrate emergency workers, rescue teams must react to all emergency calls.

"We like to err on the side of safety, instead of being overly conservative," he said.

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