By Madina Toure
A Briarwood man was arrested and charged with making terrorist threats after he allegedly called 911 dozens of times to report false emergencies, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. According to a complaint filed by the DA’s office, the man claimed he made the calls because the sound of sirens responding to those calls calmed his verbally abusive uncle down.
Kenneth Campbell, 47, was arraigned March 24 on charges of making a terrorist threat and falsely reporting an incident at his home, a 36-unit apartment building in which he has lived for more than 15 years, according to Brown.
Campbell was held on $20,000 bail and ordered to return to court April 7, Brown said, noting that he faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.
“In more than 30 instances, emergency responders rushed to the defendant’s apartment building, resulting in both a waste of time and resources,” he said. “The false calls could have also put lives at risk by preventing firefighters and other rescuers from responding to real emergencies.”
Between Feb. 12 and March 16, there were at least 20 calls made to 911 reporting various emergencies or impending emergencies at the location, including odors of gas and smoke as well as electrical emergencies, according to a complaint filed by Brown.
At least nine calls between March 1 and March 16 reported elderly individuals falling and suffering head injuries or not being able to get back up, as well as individuals suffering heart attacks and one going into labor, the complaint said.
FDNY personnel responded to the location and each incident was determined to be a malicious false alarm, the complaint continued.
On March 9, five 911 calls were made reporting bombs in the building, a bomb strapped to the 911 caller’s body and a threat to throw bombs on the police and on the building’s fire chief, the court papers said. NYPD personnel were then dispatched to the location.
During one of the March 1 calls, the caller gave the 911 operator a phone number that ended up being matched to Campbell vis-à-vis the LexisNexis Accurint for Law Enforcement database, according to the complaint.
Campbell allegedly said he made the calls because his uncle is verbally abusive to him and becomes more relaxed when he hears sirens, the complaint said.
He allegedly used his old iPhone and his girlfriend’s old phone to make the 911 calls, neither of which had SIM cards, making it difficult to trace the calls, the complaint added.
He changed the sound of his vice when making the calls, also from a payphone location, the court papers said.
Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtour