Jacksonville Reporter Arrested For Dialing 9-11 at Beach Bar

Jacksonville citizens have a feeling of safety because they can call on the police to handle matters that they themselves either do not know how to handle, are not authorized to handle, or need assistance beyond their own capacity. However, when that system is abused, the one accused abusing it may face criminal charges. If one has been accused of such an act, one should contact an experienced attorney to fight for one’s case and ensure one’s rights are protected.

According to the Florida Times-Union, a Times-Union reporter was arrested for improperly abusing the 9-11 emergency call system at Brix Tap House in Jacksonville Beach. The arrest came after the reporter called police for assistance in what the reporter believed to be physical violence. The arresting officer was already on scene at the time and found what the reporter believed was a fracas to be a non-issue. When the reporter called 9-11 for a second opinion and assistance, the officer arrested him. iphone-dial-retro.jpg

Jacksonville criminal mischief cases typically involve someone who is doing smaller crimes that do not endanger any lives, but do not also help any either. Unlike the normality, many cases like this particular case do not come into play as crimes of trying to help someone else stay out of harm’s way. However, sometimes, that person will be criminally charged for an act of merely trying to help a situation be resolved.

In most states, it is illegal to call the police and report something that did not happen or report an incident in one way that is grossly far from what happened. Most of the time, these offenses are small and seem like nothing to the prosecutor in charge of one’s case, but to the person accused of the crime, the stakes are huge.

Under Florida Statute 817.49, falsely reporting a crime in progress is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, not to mention thousands of dollars in fines. Though the article is unclear as to what the accused was actually charged with, this is most likely the charge. However, the charge requires that the accused have the intent to mislead the police in their quest to stop a crime that was never committed.

In this case, the reporter was drinking with her friend when an employee of the bar pushed her friend down. She reported this occurrence to the officer at the bar. When the officer found her claim unfounded, she called 9-11 because she believed her friend had been hurt and the officer was not doing anything to resolve the issue. From the statements made by the police as well as the reporter, the reporter thought that there was a legitimate issue that the police should look into more than that officer was willing to look.

This may not seem like a big deal to the casual eye. However, if one were to relay these facts after obtaining an experienced Jacksonville criminal mischief defense attorney, one’s attorney can use one’s testimony and facts of one’s case to prove that there was no intent to commit the crime, and thus beat the charge in its entirety. One need not suffer at the hands of a police officer who is angry because one disagrees with the officer’s assessment of the situation. One has options.


The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

Additional Source: Times-Union reporter arrested on 911 misuse charge, Timothy J. Gibbons, The Florida Times Union