A former Houston 911 operator has been charged with “interference with an emergency telephone call” after confessing to hanging up on callers and being involved with thousands of phone calls lasting 20 seconds or less.
Crenshanda Williams, a 43-year-old Houston resident, faces two misdemeanor charges for several incidences of allegedly interfering with 911 calls ranging from last October to March 2016.
Houston Emergency Center managers said Williams was involved in thousands of “short calls,” or 911 calls that last 20 seconds or less.
In one incident, Williams allegedly hung up on a security guard attempting to report reckless driving after saying “Ain’t nobody got time for this— for real,” according to court documents.
In another incident, Williams reportedly hung up Hua Li, who was trying report a robbery at a convenience store, according to Houston NBC affiliate KPRC. Li said he saw a gunman enter and shoot the store manager.
"They just said, 'This is 911. How can I help you?' I was trying to finish my sentence, and we got disconnected," Li said.
Police said Williams was the operator at the time. Li said he called 911 again, but by the time he got in contact with someone else the store manager was already shot to death.
Williams said she hung up on callers because “she did not want to talk to anyone” during multiple calls.
Another caller, Buster Pendley, said Williams hung up on him March 1 when his wife collapsed and lost consciousness. Pendley said he tried to perform CPR on his wife with one hand while calling 911 with the other.
"The 911 operator answered the phone, and she said, 'This is Crenshanda, may I help you?"' Pendley recalled. He told her his wife had passed out and needed an ambulance, the operator said OK then hung up.
He got help after a second 911 call and his wife, Sharon Stephens, survived, but the experience still makes her angry.
"I would have gotten from my hospital bed and gone to 911 and find out who did that to me," she said.
If convicted, Williams could be sentenced to up to a year in jail and $4,000 fine for each count.
Williams no longer works for the Houston Emergency Center, and is scheduled to appear in court next week, NBC News reported.