HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. – A Hamilton County Sheriff’s deputy and a Cicero police officer were both charged after authorities say they made prank 911 calls while drinking at a party.
Deputy David Needham, 39, and Officer Bradley Gorgas, 40, each were charged June 27 with one misdemeanor count of false reporting, which carries a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine, reported IndyStar.
According to court documents, the two were drinking at a party at Gorgas’ home just before 2 a.m. May 1 when they decided to prank a dispatcher at the county’s 911 Dispatch Center.
Needham made the first call. He disguised his voice and pretended to be a woman named Jessica whose boyfriend was stalking her, the court documents revealed. Needham reported the boyfriend was walking on Ind. 19 just north of downtown Cicero. It’s unclear whether officers responded.
Apparently not to be outdone, Gorgas called 911 about five minutes later. He reported 10 people in a fight at the Speedway gas station in Cicero, according to court documents.
Moreover, six officers responded to the Speedway, but there was no fight.
Needham used his own phone, according to court documents. It’s unclear what phone Gorgas used.
The Indiana State Police investigated the calls and confronted Needham and Gorgas on May 31, according to court documents, where they both admitted to making what they called prank calls. Needham told the State Police he had been drinking heavily and didn’t recall the content of the call he made until hearing his own voice on the 911 tape.
Sheriff’s spokesman Bryant Orem said Needham is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
The Cicero Police Department did not immediately return messages for comment Friday. It’s unclear whether disciplinary action was taken against Gorgas.
As of Friday afternoon, Gorgas and Needham had yet to retain attorneys. The two could not immediately be reached for comment, according to the report.
They have a joint initial hearing July 11 at 1:15 p.m.
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