Police arrest Stafford man for fake 911 call

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STAFFORD – On Saturday, July 25, at approximately 6 p.m. state police were conducting motor vehicle enforcement in Stafford. A trooper was parked on Fiske Avenue in a parking area on the side of the road, watching drivers on Main Street.

At about 6:30 p.m., state police received a 911 call from an unknown man reporting a car parked the wrong way on Fiske Ave. in Stafford, and that the person inside of the car had a gun.

The dispatcher asked the man if the person was displaying the gun, but the man repeated there was a person in a car with a gun and requested that police respond immediately, then hung up.

Dispatchers called the man back in an attempt to get more information, at which point the man told them to go see for themselves, and hung up again.

A trooper was diverted and rerouted to Stafford instead of responding to another call for service elsewhere, but shortly after hearing the broadcast for a person with a gun, the trooper parked at Fiske Ave. notified the other responding trooper that he was at that location conducting motor vehicle enforcement.

Through the course of the investigation troopers were able to identify the man and determine that he lived close to where the trooper was conducting motor vehicle enforcement on Fiske Ave.

Troopers were also able to determine that at the time, the man was fully aware the “person inside of the car with a gun” was an on-duty Connecticut State Trooper and that the car was a Connecticut State Police cruiser. A warrant was issued for his arrest.

Joseph Gagne, 52, of West Main Street in Stafford, turned himself to state police on the active arrest warrant on Tuesday.

He was charged with falsely reporting an incident and misuse of emergency 911 system and released on $1,000 bail.

He is slated to appear in Rockville Superior Cour on Wednesday, August 26.

According to police, responding to a call for service while emergency lights and siren are activated poses an increased risk and inconvenience to the trooper, public, and especially those requesting police service that now must wait an extended period of time as troopers are diverted to false calls.

In addition to troopers and police, a false 911 call can also require the response of fire departments and emergency medical services. In addition, it can lead to putting schools, business and neighborhoods in lockdown, police said.

Every 911 call for service is taken seriously, they said.