Misuse of 9-1-1, Man Calls for Liquor and Ice Cream

Charlotte County, FL- April 25, 2020 Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office dispatchers received a 9-1-1 call for a public assist to which deputies responded to a Punta Gorda apartment building located on Bermont Road.

Michael James Gables

Upon arrival, caller Michael James Gables requested deputies to take the $20.00 located on the couch and retrieve liquor. Gables was educated on the inappropriate use of an emergency line and warned if he called on the emergency line for a non-emergency once more, it would be a misuse of 9-1-1, which he understood.

On April 26, Gables made another emergency call to 9-1-1. This time, when deputies arrived, Gables asked deputies to retrieve his ice cream out of the freezer as he could not get off his recliner.

Deputies inquired if Gables was in need of medical attention or in any type of distress. Gables responded that he did not need any medical attention and was not in distress.

“Our dispatchers are highly trained and talented individuals, serving callers with the utmost professionalism in any circumstance.”

Sheriff Bill Prummell

Gables was arrested for Misuse of 911 or E911 System. 

Emergency vs. Non-Emergency

Emergencies are situations that pose an immediate risk to health, life, property or environment.

Examples of emergencies include but are not limited to most medical related situations, burglaries or thefts in progress, immediate danger to personal safety, structure, brush and vehicle fires, vehicle accidents, etc. Situations which would not be considered emergencies include requests for directions, request for the correct time, and requests for non-emergency phone numbers.

If at any time, you believe the situation requires an immediate response or you are unsure if your situation fits the criteria to place an emergency call, please use the 9-1-1 emergency number. Keep in mind that should you call 9-1-1 and the call is non-emergency related, you may be requested to call the non-emergency number to keep the 9-1-1 lines clear for more severe situations.

If you need to call 9-1-1, here’s what you should know:

Know your location. “Where is your emergency?” is the first question dispatchers ask because location is the top piece of information they need to send help. That’s especially important if you’re calling from your cell phone because the dispatcher might not be able to pinpoint exactly where you’re calling from.

Answer the dispatcher’s questions. Dispatchers ask a lot of questions, but they have important reasons for each one. Your answers help the dispatcher determine what kind of help you need. Remember, while questions are being asked, help is on the way.

Follow instructions. The dispatcher is trained to help keep you safe and explain how to do first aid while help is on the way. 

Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office and Punta Gorda Police Department 911 Centers are capable of receiving text messages. However, text to 9-1-1 is only to be used in the event that someone is unable to hear or speak. This could be a hearing-impaired individual that does not have access to a TTY (Teletypewriter for the hearing-impaired) or a person reporting a crime that is in a situation where they are afraid of being heard when making a voice call.

“Call if you can, text if you cant”

Non-Emergency number: 941-639-0013

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