For identifying and apprehending a local woman who was responsible for some 700 fake phone calls to 911 over the course of about a year, two 62nd Precinct police officers were honored as Cops of the Month for January.
Captain Anthony Longobardi, the precinct’s commanding officer, told members of the 62nd Precinct Community Council gathered at the station house, 1925 Bath Avenue, on Tuesday, January 16 for the group’s monthly meeting, that, on Christmas eve, P.O. Michael Lunetta, had “responded to a 911 call for a barricaded, emotionally disturbed person,” followed shortly thereafter by P.O. Michael Oggeri.
The duo, said Longobardi, “tactically approached the location,” while a third cop stayed outside to watch the windows of the apartment in which the woman had locked herself.
A nearby man “informed the officers that the woman had previously called 911 on him without any merit,” a statement that helped Lunetta make the connection to the unknown person who had made the false calls, including “reports of guns, shots fired, terrorist attacks and assaults on children, all of which required emergency responses,” Longobardi recounted.
Oggeri had committed the phone number associated with the false reports to memory, and as the pair engaged the barricaded woman in conversation, they “obtained her phone number, which matched, as well as her compliance,” said Longobardi, adding that “she was taken into custody without further incident.”
The woman was subsequently charged “with over 693 counts of making false reports as well as reckless endangerment,” said Longobardi, who stressed, “The importance of this arrest cannot be overstated.
“False 911 calls create an exceptionally dangerous situation for the public and our responding officers,” he added, recalling that about 18 years ago, P.O. David Regan — who was attached to the 62nd Precinct — died in a car crash “as he responded to an unfounded call of shots fired.”