911 dispatchers reward man who called over 4000 times

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SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Police tracked down a man who called 911 over 4,000 times in one week.  Dispatchers were very upset over the false reports.  They have to answer and track down every call.  But, the man police caught wasn’t what they expected.

Emergency dispatcher Kari Bueno tells KSL-TV that, “We found out it was somebody with a disability who was just trying to listen to music. There was no intent to call 911.”

David VanBibber, 30, has a mental disability.  His family says he functions on the level of an 8-year-old. He was given an old disconnected cell phone to listen to music.  But, all cell phones can still call 911 even without a service plan.  He was accidentally calling while trying to listen to music.

The cell phone was taken away from VanBibber so he couldn’t accidentally make any more 911 calls.  But, music is a big part of David’s life.  The 911 operators felt bad about taking away the man’s access to music.  So, they invited the man and his family to Emergency Communications Center.  They gave him an iPod Nano and a $100 iTunes gift certificate.

VanBibber told the 911 dispatchers, “You’re awesome.”  He then told everyone “Merry Christmas,” before leaving.

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