A former 911 operator is facing criminal charges after admitting that she hung up on callers when she didn’t feel like talking.
Crenshanda Williams, 43, is facing a misdemeanor charge of interference with an emergency phone call.
Managers at the Houston Emergency Center where Williams worked found that she had been involved with thousands of ‘short calls’ – defined as lasting 20 seconds or less – between October 2015 and March, Click2Houston reports.
And in one case, Williams was accused of hanging up on a caller who was reporting a robbery at a convenience store in which the owner was shot and killed.
Engineer Hua Li called 911 to report an armed robbery at the RaceWay convenience store on FM 1960 Rd at Mills Road in Houston on March 12.
Li said he was buying lottery tickets when a gunman entered and tried to break down the glassed-in secure area behind the counter.
He says he ran from the store and heard gunshots on his way out. When he made it to his car, he called 911.
‘They just said, “This is 911. How can I help you?” I was trying to finish my sentence and we got disconnected,’ Li told the local station.
Police said the operator Li got was Williams and that she had ended the call after just a few seconds.
Li called again and got a different operator but by the time police responded, the store’s owner – 51-year-old Zia Arfeen Seddiqui – was dead.
In another incident on March 13, a security guard called to report two motorists driving recklessly as they raced each other at high speed on 1-45 South.
Williams was the operator, according to police – and she allegedly terminated the call before the guard could give his full name.
Police said they questioned Williams about these incidents in June.
She told them she ‘often hangs up on calls that have not been connected because she did not want to talk to anyone at that time,’ according to Click2Houston.