It happened again. Someone reports an emergency and first responders spring into action, only to discover it was all a hoax. This latest incident sent would-be rescuers to both sides of the Missouri River on Thursday.
It seems to be a trend. People reporting things to the authorities that never happened. In August, Omaha police were all over the area of 28th and Spencer. The response was the real deal, but the report that caused the action was not. No one knows who made the fake call to 911, but police could take no chances.
"I killed my mom and dad," the caller said. "I'm going to kill my little brother. If I see any cops, I will kill them."
Another apparent hoax came later in August. In Lincoln, former Nebraska women's basketball player Charlie Rogers claimed three masked men tied her up and carved hate words into her skin. Police believe the woman made up the entire story.
Thursday, rescue boats buzzed the Missouri River. A call from the Coast Guard in St. Louis said there was a distressed boater in the area. At least three boats were in the water, all for nothing.
"The guys went out and approximately 10 to 15 minutes later into the incident, the Coast Guard called back and they determined it was a hoax call. There was no distressed boater found out on the river," said Scott Alff with the Omaha Fire Department.
He added these fake calls cost real money and often times puts first responders in danger. "When hoax calls come in we respond to them like a normal call until proven otherwise, so we're sending our guys out there putting them into dangerous currents out there on the river."
First responders say they can't take a chance. They must answer every time anyone calls for help. According to the FBI, a false call could cost a community about $10,000.