'I'm a nervous wreck': Windsor woman upset over dozens of prank 911 calls
Published Friday, July 12, 2019 4:34PM EDT
A string of prank 911 calls is causing a Windsor woman significant anxiety.
Over the past four months, Michelle Kovack has been woken up in the middle of the night or startled in the middle of the day to see police and firefighters outside her window.
“I'm stressed. I don't sleep. I'm a nervous wreck," says Kovak.
Despite the dozens of police appearances, she says no one inside her home is making the call.
‘I got so many phone calls,” says Kovack. “The very first call, I think, was a stabbing. The second call was an actual shot gun fire in my yard."
The thing is, Kovack says there were no stabbings, no gun shots, no weapons, no drugs, no flailing swords or strangulations and certainly, no fires.
“It's coming from an unregistered phone, which they cannot trace,” says Kovack.
Kovack says she's sleeping two hours a night, she's lost her appetite and she's afraid to leave the house.
"I'm on medication now to help me with it,” says Kovack. “It's killing me."
Outside of Kovack's anguish, prank 911 calls affect everyone.
Essex-Windsor EMS deputy chief Justin Lammers says phony 911 calls could pull resources away from actual emergencies.
"It's a game we don't want to play, it's putting lives in danger," says Lammers.
Lammers says you're really playing with a system that's doing its best it can to provide coverage.
“But you're playing with something that could deprive your family or a loved one or a family members from the medical attention they need at the time," says Lammers.
It costs all taxpayers as well.
Fire trucks cost $450 each, per hour, an ambulance costs $250 per hour and police costs, while unquantifiable, are steep.
"So you've got a high dollar value and that's not what a taxpayer wants, but we're also incorporating and reminding the danger value,” says Sgt. Steve Betteridge.
“If an officer is racing lights and sirens to a potential emergency that has actually been fabricated, again, that's why it's a serious, serious offence that we would investigate and make every effort to find out who is responsible for that," he adds.
Kovack just wants her life back.
“Grow up and stop. Like, you're wasting the time of all these officers and rescue units, where somebody actually needs help, and you're sending them here for no reason at all and disturbing the peace. That's wrong," Kovack says.
Betteridge says don't be afraid to call 911 if there's an emergency or even if you're concerned for your safety.
He says it's a rare occurrence for anyone to abuse 911, but if it does happen it's something Windsor police will seriously investigate and it is an offence in the criminal code.