A former 911 operator named Crenshanda Williams has been arrested, say Texas authorities. The former emergency services worker, 43, is in legal trouble for allegedly admitting that she hung up on people seeking emergency help from 911 “because she didn’t want to talk to anyone at that time.”
The behavior of the former 911 operator came under question when her supervisors noticed that Williams had taken an uncommonly high number of 911 calls that lasted 20 seconds or less, or what the Houston Emergency Center calls “short calls.” The former 911 operator, whose employment at the center began in July 2014, was found to have answered thousands of short calls in the time period between October 2015 and March 2016.
In one instance, which occurred on March 12, Williams is alleged to have hung up on a call from an engineer named Hua Li, who was calling to report that shots had been fired during a robbery. CBS 8 cites court documents filed in Harris County Court when reporting that Li told authorities that he was at a convenience store buying lottery tickets when he heard someone yell that a robbery was happening. Li then realized an armed man was in the store.
The engineer heard five to six gunshots before running to his car and driving away, at which point he phoned 911 to report what was happening at the store. Charging documents allege that Williams answered his call and immediately disconnected. Upon Li’s second call to the Houston Emergency Center, the former 911 operator is alleged to have answered and said, “Houston 911, do you need medical, police or fire?” Li was only able to get out, “This is a robbery,” before Williams is alleged to have audibly sighed before disconnecting the call again.
The third time Li called 911, he successfully reported that multiple gunshots had happened in the course of a robbery. When police arrived, store owner Zia Siddiqui had already died. The 52-year-old owner of the store was shot in a back room by an armed man who forced his way into the room in pursuit of a store clerk who was attempting to escape.
Fox 8 reports that suspicions were aroused specifically on March 12, the day Siddiqui was killed. Authorities allege the former 911 operator hung up on multiple callers that day. When investigators tracked Li down, he told them about being hung up on by the 911 operator when he phoned in the robbery.
CBS 8 also reports an incident that occurred the very next day in which Williams allegedly hung up on Jimmy Motten, Jr., a security guard calling to tell 911 that two people were speeding and driving recklessly on a stretch of I-45 where, just two weeks earlier, people were killed while racing. Charging documents indicate that Motten identified himself and gave Williams his location and was allegedly abruptly hung up on.
Motten placed a second call to emergency services and was able to make a full report to a different 911 operator. He confirmed the hang-up to investigators.
— KPRC 2 Houston (@KPRC2) October 11, 2016
The investigation into the former 911 operator’s high number of short calls discovered that, even though Motten’s call to 911 had been disconnected, the line recorder continued, according to CBS 8. On the recorder is William’s voice allegedly saying, “Ain’t nobody got time for this. For real.” Fox 8 cites charging documents which state the 911 operator hung up on multiple people that day. The phrase allegedly uttered by Williams was part of an interview with Kimberly “Sweet Brown” Wilkins in 2012 after Wilkins escaped from a house fire. The video went viral and became an internet sensation, catapulting Wilkins into instant fame. As reported by Inquisitr, Wilkins later sued Apple for using her famous catchphrase to make money.
KPRC spoke with Li about his experience with Williams. Li told the station that if 911 does not respond to an emergency, the consequences can be dire.
“Nobody, nobody is going to help you. You’re on your own.”
Williams is no longer a 911 operator at the Houston Emergency Center. She has been charged with two misdemeanors for interfering with an emergency phone call and preventing callers from receiving emergency services. She was released from jail on $1,000 bond and is due for a court appearance on Friday.
[Featured Image by Becky Stares/Shutterstock]