Hampton, VA – Happy April Fool’s Day! A Waffle House employee decided to celebrate with a prank robbery call to police, but, in the end, the joke was on her when she was taken away in cuffs by less-than-amused cops.
Waffle House employee Susan Alexandria Tinker allegedly phoned local police before 6 am on Monday morning, claiming that the Hampton chain was robbed five minutes earlier, said Hampton Police Division Corporal Mary Shackelford.
Police took the call seriously, responded immediately, and launched a full-scale investigation into the April Fool’s robbery. They interviewed employees while a K-9 unit explored the restaurant and parking lot. Investigators even canvased the neighborhood for suspects.
Finally, police reviewed surveillance footage from Tinker’s shift and uncovered evidence that the 20-year-old had placed the original 911 call in jest as an April Fool’s Day prank. Police didn’t take the joke so well and arrested Tinker on the spot, charging her with one misdemeanor count of falsely summoning police.
“We take this very, very seriously,” said Shackelford. “Sometimes we’ll get incidents where kids are playing around on the phone, but usually it’s nothing of this caliber,” she added.
Prank phone calls to 911 never usually end well for the caller. In late March, a 12-year-old boy was arrested for making a prank phone call to police about an apparent school shooting.
In New Prague, Minnesota, both the middle school and the high school were put under lock down early in the morning after authorities received a phone call about an apparent shooter on the loose.
Police were able to quickly determine that there wasn’t a shooter on either campus, but the threat rattled and affected nearly 900 students.
“We have to take (these threats) seriously, every one of them … We have to treat them as a real incident, as we did on this, because we just don’t know,” said the district’s superintendent.
Do you think that the Waffle House employee’s April Fool’s Day prank call to 911 was innocent fun, or were police right to charge her?