EAST NORTHPORT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — For the second time in just a matter of days, police on Long Island this week arrested someone for allegedly calling in a false 911 report to get out of a traffic ticket.
As TV 10/55’s Richard Rose reported Wednesday, police said Marie Toussaint, 40, was driving her Toyota Highlander on Jericho Turnpike in East Northport at 11:18 a.m. Monday, Oct. 23, when she was pulled over for a registration sticker violation.
As the officer was writing the ticket, police alleged that Toussaint used her cellphone to call 911, saying she had just seen two men waving guns in the street. The officer then let Toussaint go to respond to the fake guns report – a report that Suffolk County police Commissioner Timothy Sini said was taken very seriously.
“(It) drew a police response from two different precincts,” Sini said. “She potentially put officers at risk.”
It happened twice in one week. Suffolk County police said they also arrested a Bay Shore woman last week after she allegedly pulled a similar stunt.
It was the morning of Thursday, Oct. 26, when an officer stopped 43-year-old Alfreda Chaplin of Bay Shore for speeding.
Police said when they pulled her over Chaplin told officers she was racing to the hospital to see her dying mother. The skeptical officer told Chaplin he would follow her to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center to confirm her story.
Police said on the way there, Chaplin called 911 on her cell phone and gave the dispatcher a phony name and address to claim she’d been assaulted at gunpoint, in hopes that the officer on her tail would be called away.
But because of GPS, authorities know where a 911 call comes from so instead, she was stopped a second time and arrested.
Some residents call it a dangerous tactic for getting out of a traffic ticket.
“Their adrenaline is running. Cop cars are flying in every direction,” said John Caracci of Babylon. “Traffic accidents could happen. Somebody could get hurt. Somebody could get killed. It’s happened before.”
Toussaint lives with her daughter on a hilltop home. Shocked neighbors said she is a good mother.
“She works very hard. She’s a nice woman,” said neighbor Beth McNair. “I’ve never had a problem with her.”
From behind her door, Toussaint would only say she did not do what police claim.
Police said Toussaint will now be charged with the original traffic violations as well as counts for the false 911 call.