A former Houston 911 dispatcher was arrested this week for allegedly hanging up on callers seeking emergency assistance, including one call that ended in a murder, police said.
According to a report by NBC affiliate KPRC Houston published Oct. 12, Crenshanda Williams, 43, hung up on thousands of callers because “she did not want to talk to anyone at that time.”
According to the indictment papers, Williams was charged with a class-A misdemeanor count of interference with an emergency telephone call.
An investigation into Williams’s phone record revealed that she had thousands of “short calls”—defined as calls that have a duration of 20 seconds or less—between October 2015 and March 2016.
In one instance, Williams allegedly suddenly terminated the call of a man reporting a robbery in progress on March 12. Hua Li told KPRC that he called 911 after witnessing an attempted robbery at a RaceWay gas station and hearing gunshots.
“They just said, ‘This is 911. How can I help you?’ I was trying to finish my sentence, and we got disconnected,” Li said.
Li dialed 911 again and was connected with another operator. By the time emergency responders arrived, Raceway owner 51-year-old Zia Siddiqui had been shot and killed. Nadonte Pugh, 19, has since been charged with the murder of Siddiqui.
The following day, Williams allegedly prematurely ended a phone call with a security guard who was attempting to report two motorists drag racing on Interstate 45. The man was unable to fully state his name before Williams terminated the call. As Williams hung up the phone, she can be heard saying, “Ain’t nobody got time for this. For real,” reported CW39.
The security guard dialed 911 again and was assisted by another dispatcher.
Williams had been employed at the Houston Emergency Center since July 2014. She is scheduled to appear in court next week.