Crime & Courts

Stop calling 911 to order french fries, Clemson police say after slew of prank calls

After someone made a series of prank phone calls to 911 Wednesday, the Clemson City Police Department said its no joking matter. It’s a crime.

Police said on Facebook their 911 dispatcher has received nine phony calls, where the caller asked them to deliver french fries and a milkshake, among other “jokes.”

In addition to ordering food, police said in the post that the girl giggled “uncontrollably,” went silent, and told dispatchers they were stupid.

“Fun fact... we do not deliver fries, or any other food stuff, to your home. We don’t even serve them to temporary residents of Ye Ole Graybar,” police said, referencing the Anderson County and Pickens County detention centers, in the Facebook post.

The caller was described in the post as a young female by police, who said she made the calls between 8 and 11 a.m. Police said they do not know who the girl is, adding they prefer her parents or guardian to provide discipline and discourage her from making any more phony phone calls rather than getting law enforcement further involved.

But police could intervene since “misuse of 911 is a criminal offense under South Carolina Code of Laws 23-47-80,” according to the Facebook post.

Additionally, a prank call to 911 could prevent someone in an emergency situation from getting help, police said in the post.

“(E)very time someone calls 911 for a ‘goof,’ you’re ... likely costing someone precious moments they’ll never get back when those moments could be the difference between receiving the help they need or not,” police wrote on Facebook.

Some of the people commenting on the Facebook post urged the police to try and use tactics to make the girl scared straight.

“Wish you could find out who the little brat was and put a scare in her. Lock her up in Big Girl jail,” on person posted.

Another person wrote “I think you should put the fear in that little brat. Get the parent’s permission, go to the house, handcuff her and put her in the back of the patrol car and tell her she is going to jail.”

Using a variety of gifs, police hinted they are not interested in that option.

“We would ... like the 911 calls to stop so we don’t have to stop chasing the thieves and violent offenders to call cell phone companies for the locations of callers,” police wrote on the post. “We all have bigger fish to fry, and we’re just looking for some parental assistance.”

Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.
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