Authorities tracked down a 4-year-old girl who called 911 nearly 300 times last month by offering to deliver McDonald’s to her suburban Chicago apartment.
Unbeknownst to her mother, the girl used a deactivated cell phone to call dispatchers 287 times in June ?¢‚Ç¨‚Äù sometimes as often as 20 times a shift. Apparently the toddler was given the old cell phone to use as a toy.
Dispatchers heard the child’s voice but could only track the phone’s signal to the apartment complex. So authorities used a ruse to pinpoint her.
“We asked (the caller) what she wanted. She said she wanted McDonald’s,” said Steve Cordes, executive director of QuadCom’s emergency center, which covers Carpentersville.
“We talked with her and we convinced her if she told us where she lives, we would bring her McDonald’s,” he said. “She finally gave us her address. So we sent the police over ?¢‚Ç¨‚Äù with no McDonald’s.”
After police arrived, the girl’s mother took away the phone, Cordes said. Maybe mom should invest in a book called “It’s Time to Call 911” which teaches children when it’s appropriate to call 911.
Under federal law, deactivated cell phones still must be able to access 911. Many deactivated phones will contact an emergency call center if the user holds down the nine key.