A New York man accused of making 403 phony 911 calls over the past two years was arrested Friday and charged with false reporting and reckless endangerment, the Associated Press reported via the Wall Street Journal.
New York Police Department Deputy Inspector Terence Hurson said that Louis Segna, 51, the landlord of a building in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, placed hundreds of 911 calls because he was frustrated with street noise outside his building. Hurson said most of Segna’s complaints were about “unruly crowds,” but that some were of a far more serious nature.
Hurson said he believes Segna placed a call on Sept. 1 notifying police of an explosion on the L subway train -- the entrance to which is a stone’s throw away from his building -- but when officials arrived on the scene they discovered nothing was amiss, AP reported.
On Dec. 30, two 911 calls attributed to Segna were placed within 20 seconds of each other: the first complaining of a noisy crowd, and the second of gunshots fired.
"Of course we race back," Hurson said of the police response, but again they found no evidence of the alleged shots, AP said.
On New Year’s Eve, another call was placed: This time the caller claimed to have had a knife pulled on him, but police found no indications of an assault when they arrived. It was then that Hurson said he became suspicious.
After relistening to phone calls from the previous night, Hurson said he immediately identified the caller’s voice as Segna’s. Hurson said that he had met Segna multiple times at community board meetings and in the local precinct where he had come to lodge noise complaints, so he recognized the caller’s noticeable speech impediment as Segna’s.
When police investigators began going through the database of older 911 calls, they discovered that hundreds had been placed from Segna’s cellphone number. According to AP's account of Hurson's comments, Segna said, “It's the only way I can get you guys to come and listen to me.”
Segna’s apartment building has been in his family since 1967, according to Kings County Supreme Court documents available via Leagle.
The same documents show Segna was previously indicted for unlawful possession of a rifle and homemade explosive devices.