ASTORIA, Ore. – An Astoria mother faces big fines because her toddler accidentally dialed 9-1-1 a total of 16 times.
Police said if this had been a one-time mistake, they would not have cited Jessica May. But dispatchers said they received 7 calls from her phone last Thursday and 9 others before that, dating back to January.
May told KGW she was in the bathroom when her 1-year-old daughter Ayla found her phone and started playing with it last Thursday.
“It was an honest mistake,” May said.
Her phone was in the “locked” mode at the time, May said, but it’s still possible to dial emergency numbers without unlocking it.
After the sixth call, an officer gave May a warning. But when it happened again, she was cited for abusing 9-1-1. If convicted, she could face up to a year in prison and a $6,000 fine.
“If you're tied up on a 911 call, until that call is satisfactory, you're not going to answer another one,” explained Jeff Rusiecki with Astoria Emergency Communications.
The 911 system in Astoria is different than the system in Multnomah County. Multnomah has a few safeguards in place to keep accidental 911 calls from going through.