A 23-year-old Wyandanch man was arrested and charged Tuesday night with falsely reporting a shots-fired incident -- a 911 call he made, police said, in an attempt to avoid a ticket for smoking a cigarette near the pumps at a gas station.
The ill-designed scheme fell apart when Suffolk County First Precinct officers realized Chazeray Johnson was on his cellphone when the shots-fired call came in, then traced the phone number of the complainant through the 911 call center and called it -- and Johnson's cellphone began ringing.
Johnson, of 47 Lake Dr., was charged with third-degree falsely reporting an incident, a misdemeanor, and also was issued what police described as "numerous other summonses." He faces arraignment Wednesday in First District Court in Central Islip.
Police said Officers William Madden and Edward Angelo were on routine patrol Tuesday when they spotted Johnson "spitting and smoking" while near the pumps at a gas station on Straight Path at about 10:45 p.m. Johnson also had an open container of alcohol in his hand, police said.
The officers then saw Johnson get into the passenger seat of a 2013 Honda Civic -- and initiated a traffic stop when the car pulled away. Police said that as the officers then began writing tickets for the offenses they received a dispatch reporting shots fired.
"At the same time," police said in a written account, "they [the officers] noticed Johnson was on his cellphone."
The officers then checked the computerized call-center records, got the complainant's number -- and called it.
Johnson's phone immediately began to ring.
Police said that, when questioned by the officers, "Johnson stated he saw it in a movie once -- and thought he could get the officers to leave."
He got arrested, instead.
This isn't the first time a suspect has been charged with making a fake 911 call to elude police. According to news reports, a man in Arlington Heights, Ill., tried the same stunt last November, when he tried to avoid a panhandling charge by claiming a gunman was attempting to rob a nearby McDonald's. In that case, the officers sped away -- only to find there was no gunman. News accounts said the officers later located the suspect in the false call, charging him with a felony.