PENOBSCOT COUNTY – The Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office is trying to track down who called to report a crime in Charleston – that never happened.
A caller reported a serious crime at the home, one that sent deputies and state police rushing to the scene Tuesday night.
“Ultimately they made contact with the folks in the home and they were unaware that a call had been made,” said Lt. James Ellis with the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office.
According to officials, the call came into the Penobscot Regional Communications Center in Bangor around 8 p.m. Tuesday.
The caller made it sound like a serious offense had been committed, claiming someone was injured and threatening police.
Lt. Ellis said about five Penobscot County deputies and several state troopers responded to the Bacon Road home in Charleston, where they learned no one had been harmed at all.
“What it does is it puts our deputies at risk responding to these calls…they become emotionally charged,” said Lt. Ellis. “Talking to the deputies who responded last night, they were very prepared to carry out their roles and responsibilities.”
That call also put the public at risk.
“The deputies are going past them and frankly there were probably other residents in Penobscot County waiting for law enforcement services and the deputies were delayed getting to them,” said Lt. Ellis.
The details of what the phony caller claimed are not being made public in case of copycat calls. Dispatchers said they handled that call like they would any other.
“We take everything at face value, what they tell us,” said Betty Stone, a supervisor at Penobscot Regional Communications Center. “We start with the same three questions.”
According to national reports, a Kansas man was shot and killed in 2017 when police responded to a fake call thought to have come from his home.
In Charleston, the situation stayed peaceful.
“The crew did a great job…we get a couple of these calls every year,” said Lt. Ellis.
Detectives specializing in cyber crimes and spoofed phone numbers are now working on the case. If that caller can be identified, he or she could face charges.