Japanese Man Arrested For Prank Calling Emergency Number 28,000 Times

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Persistence doesn’t always pay off -- in fact, in the case of one merry prankster, it had disastrous results. According to JapanToday, a Japanese man has been arrested for placing 28,000 prank phone calls to a local police emergency number.

Teruo Nozaki, 44, a part-time convenience-store worker in Tokyo, allegedly began dialing 110, the Japanese equivalent of 911, in January 2012, eventually logging 28,000 calls between then and this June. Police said Nozaki would sometimes call 110 as many as 1,500 times per day. If somebody answered his call, he would immediately hang up.

When questioned about the motivation behind his prank phone calls, Nozaki answered that he “did it because I was irritated by the fact that I was always watched by police.”

Nozaki’s arrest is no laughing matter. As Time pointed out, prank phone calls are a rite of passage for most kids. When somebody dials an emergency number 28,000 times, however, he or she is wasting a massive amount of police resources that would be put to better use for those who actually need assistance.

One or two prank phone calls can easily be explained, but the sheer number of calls purportedly placed by Nozaki indicates he may have entered Travis Bickle territory.

According to Time, the case echoes that of Darius McCollum, a New York man arrested 29 times over the past 30 years for various offenses related to the city’s transit system, including commandeering a train and driving it for six stops, impersonating Metropolitan Transportation Authority employees, stealing a bus and entering restricted areas in the MTA system.

McCollum -- who has been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome -- was sentenced to a maximum of five years behind bars Thursday, the Guardian reported.

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