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Gwinnett man charged with making fake 911 calls | News

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Gwinnett man charged with making fake 911 calls

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- A 33-year-old man has been charged with making multiple phony and sometimes threatening calls to the Gwinnett County Police Department 911 Center.

About 14 such calls, all made by the same person, were placed between Apr. 17 and 25. They included three fake requests for an ambulance, a bomb report, and a claim that an apartment building was on fire.

On Monday, Gwinnett County Police arrested the man they believe made the calls, Aaron Tyler Norman, of Buford.

They said it was Norman who stated, for example, in one of the calls, "I got a (expletive) gun" and, in another call, "Mother (expletive), better get over to Marquis at Sugarloaf because somebody's about to get shot."

"He threatened that he had a bomb" in at least one of the calls, said Gwinnett County Police Cpl. Deon Washington. "He threatened to blow up locations."

Washington said police, fire and rescue all treated each call as genuine, responding with lights and sirens.

After the first few hoax calls, a Gwinnett County detective was assigned to the case and visited the Marquis at Sugarloaf Apartments in the 2200 block of Satellite Boulevard to investigate.

The investigation led to "someone close to [Norman]," Cpl. Washington said, and that person "was interviewed and recognized [Norman's] voice" on the 911 calls.

Norman had recently been evicted from the Marquis at Sugarloaf Apartments, according to police.

Cpl. Washington said Norman made the 911 calls from various locations, but not from Marquis at Sugarloaf.

When Norman was arrested, he was charged with terroristic threats, false statements, transmitting a false alarm, and three counts of requesting an ambulance when not required. He also faces a burglary charge in an unrelated case.

Norman is being held in the Gwinnett County Jail.

Cpl. Washington said detectives do not believe Norman was targeting anyone in particular at the apartment complex when he gave certain apartment unit numbers to the 911 operator, because some of the unit numbers he gave do not exist at that complex.

"Those are just random locations that he pulled out of the air," Washington said.

Washington described the hoax calls as "very, very serious," because 911 operators, police, fire and rescue personnel are constantly responding to genuine emergencies, and fake calls potentially disrupt their work.

"He definitely put the lives of many citizens at risk, and also the lives of first responders at risk, because when you start making claims of bomb threats, people getting shot, those are all Priority One calls, what we call Code One, with lights and sirens. So that's a very, very serious thing. And it's unfortunate that someone would abuse 911 services in such a horrible way," Washington said.


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