WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – A New Hanover County 911 dispatcher received an unusual complaint Tuesday, when a man said that he wanted to file a police report after a drug dealer allegedly failed to bring him the marijuana and cocaine that he had paid for.
In the 911 call, the caller, identified as Dave, claimed that he had met with his drug dealer and given him $80 in exchange for the drugs. The man who took the money then reportedly told Dave he would go get the drugs, and would meet him at the Scotchman gas station at Wilshire Boulevard and Kerr Avenue, but he never showed up there.
"I'm waiting on this guy to do the right thing," Dave said at one point the 911 dispatcher.
Dave also said that what the reported drug dealer had done to him was unlawful. He referred to two people in the beginning of the phone call, but later only talked about one man taking his money.
"The thing about it is, these boys, they're running a dope business," said Dave, in his phone call. "And…they're already dirty. They're already dirty…[inaudible] but these boys, they're ripping people off. They're going around in the street ripping people off. They're selling drugs, but they're not even selling drugs. They're selling fake drugs to people, and they rip 'em off, you know what I'm saying? And the thing about it is, that's a criminal offense."
Dave added that he had bought drugs from the dealer before that weren't up to his standards.
"The thing about it is, you know, I've done the drug business with him for a little while," said Dave. "The thing about it is, he would bring back something that you couldn't even get high off of, and just take your money."
Dawn Williams, who is a 911 supervisor, says calls like these waste dispatchers' time and distract them from real emergencies.
"It's unfortunate that you have to sit there and listen to somebody tell you that they've lost money because they spent it on the wrong thing, when you could be using your certifications to provide CPR or save a life," she said.
It's a crime in North Carolina to call 911 for anything other than an emergency, but Williams said the law hasn't cut down on misuse of 911.
There's an effort underway right now in the North Carolina General Assembly to make the punishment for this crime tougher. If it passes, the penalty could increase from a $100 fine to mandatory jail time of up to two years.
To read the bill, click here.
Williams said it's up to the officer who responds to the call to determine if someone broke the law by calling 911. We're waiting to hear back from police on what happened in this recent case.
If you have a call that does not rise to the level of an emergency, Williams says you can call 910-452-6120.