A former 911 operator in Houston who hung up on people calling for emergency services “thousands” of times has been sentenced to 10 days in jail and 18 months of probation, prosecutors announced Wednesday.
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office says jurors found 44-year-old Crenshanda Williams guilty of interference with emergency telephone calls, a misdemeanor. A judge sentenced her.
Prosecutors say she worked as a 911 operator for a year-and-a-half, ending in 2016. During that time, Williams amassed thousands of “short calls” — emergency calls that last less than 20 seconds, according to court documents.
Calls varied from reports of robberies and homicides to reports of speeding vehicles. Williams told investigators she often hung up because she didn’t want to talk to anyone at those times.
In one instance, Williams allegedly hung up on a man who called to report a robbery in progress.
Hua Li told NBC affiliate KPRC that he was buying lottery tickets at a convenience store when a gunman entered and tried to force his way through the door of a glassed-in security area behind the counter. As Li escaped from the store, he heard several gunshots and called 911 for help.
“They just said, ‘This is 911. How can I help you?’ I was trying to finish my sentence, and we got disconnected,” Li told the station. Williams was later determined to be the 911 operator and had terminated the call after a few seconds, police said.
Li reportedly called again and got a different operator. However, by the time police responded to the store, the manager had been shot and killed.
Another emergency caller, Jim Moten, called 911 in 2016 after he spotted two cars racing on a highway where two people had recently been killed from speeding, only to be hung up on by Williams, according to charging documents, KPRC reported. Moten reportedly heard Williams say “Ain’t nobody got time for this. For real,” before hanging up.