Kerry Burke and Thomas Tracy
New York Daily News
BRONX, New York — A 38-year-old Bronx woman was arrested for making more than 24,200 bogus 911 calls since June for emergencies that never occurred, the Daily News has learned.
Cops busted Yogita Persaud on Friday after finally tracking the fake emergency calls to her unregistered pre-paid cellphone, officials said. On the day of her arrest, she made more than 200 bogus 911 calls — even as cops were talking to her through the door, asking her why she had made so many fraudulent calls, sources with knowledge of the case said.
Police and firefighters had to respond to each of those calls, taking services away from real victims with real emergencies, said Lt. John D’Amico of the NYPD’s Communications Division.
“It’s very dangerous,” D’Amico said. “Not only was it putting call takers at risk, it takes away much needed assistance to someone having a heart attack.”
Each week the Communications Division has a list of phone numbers for chronic callers. Persaud’s number always made it to the top of that list, officials said.
“The number kept coming up for having high call volumes, so much so that most of the 911 call takers on the floor would recognize the number when it was made,” D’Amico said. “They all knew the call coming in was going to be fake, but they had to be professional and take the call.”
Most of the calls Persaud made were about fires and police emergencies. She also reported robberies in progress, D’Amico said.
“Sometimes she would just curse at the dispatcher who was speaking to her,” said D’Amico.
On an average day, Persaud would make 100 fake 911 calls, all to areas near her home.
“That’s how we knew she was a chronic caller,” D’Amico said.
At about 2 p.m. on Friday, Persaud called 911 claiming there was a fire in the basement of a building across the street from her home on E. 234th St. near White Plains Road in Wakefield.
When the 911 FDNY operator reminded her that it was against the law to make a fake 911 call, she went off on a rant, claiming the NYPD and the FDNY were plotting against her, a source with knowledge of the case said.
At about the same time, Sgt. Juan Nolocasco and Police Officer Sherman Tyson, two 47 Precinct Neighborhood Coordination Officers, had tracked the chronic calls to Persaud, but she would only talk to them through the door.
As they talked to her, they realized she was on the phone with 911, making a bogus call, sources said.
Cops charged Persaud with making a false report, aggravated harassment and obstruction of government administration. A Bronx criminal court judge ordered her released without bail Saturday.
In an interview with The News Tuesday, Persaud pointed the finger of blame on police.
“It’s a campaign against me,” she claimed, speaking through her door. “They hired a gang member to stalk me. It’s been going on for a very long time, nine years. It’s outrageous.”
“The NYPD is corrupt,” she alleged. “That’s their history.”
Persaud claimed she has “a case coming up in December,” but would not elaborate.