UPDATE (April 12, 2019) -- Dominique Morrison pleaded guilty to false informing. Other charges against him were dropped as part of a plea deal. He was sentenced to 365 days, with 287 days suspended and 39 days of credit given for time served.
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – An Indianapolis man is accused of making a false 911 call to try and distract police from investigating a hit-and-run car crash.
The unusual arrest took place over the weekend on Indy’s near west side.
The alleged diversion didn’t work and the suspect was booked into the Marion County jail.
It all started with a car crash at the intersection of Washington and Tibbs. Police were called to investigate and quickly detained a driver who they say then tried to leave the scene.
Just moments later, a 911 call came into the Marion County dispatch center. Police claim the hit-and-run driver’s boyfriend reported hearing gunshots nearby and intended the call to be a distraction.
According to court records, Dominique Morrison told dispatchers he heard 12 gunshots and children screaming, but when officers showed up at Hawthorne Park to investigate, they found no evidence any shots had ever been fired.
“This is an arrest-able offense. It’s a crime to call 911 for a fake report,” said IMPD officer Genae Cook.
Police eventually tracked Morrison down to his girlfriend’s home and arrested him after a brief struggle. The girlfriend was ticketed for trying to leave the scene of the crash and her family says they wish Morrison would stay away from their home.
“You know he thought he was a big superhero trying to get her out of it and it didn’t work like that,” said one family member.
“It’s personal between police and my son. They don’t know if there were shots fired that night or not. I guarantee there were probably gunshots. It’s Haughville,” said the suspect’s mother Kimberly Morrison.
Prosecutors say dispatch records show Morrison’s phone made the 911 call, but his mother says police can’t prove his call was intentionally false and believes officers working the beat in Haughville are simply harassing her son.
“I love my son. He’s not out here robbing, stealing or killing people, but he’s a menace and they don’t want him in society right now. They just don’t,” said Kimberly.
Police say the case is an important safety lesson that making false 911 calls is not only illegal, it can be unsafe, because it could take officers longer to respond to real crimes.
“It can be very dangerous because people calling in actual emergencies could have delayed responses from other officers,” said Cook.
Morrison is due in court this week. In the meantime, he’s facing possible criminal charges of false reporting and resisting law enforcement.