Man arrested for making bogus 911 calls

James Aursby (Photo courtesy: Newport News Fire Department)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A Hampton man is facing dozens of charges for allegedly sending firefighters to the scene of fake emergencies since January.

James Aursby, 53, was arrested Tuesday by the Newport News Fire Marshal’s Office.

Investigators tell WAVY.com Aursby used multiple phones, including a burner phone, to report false calls at addresses across the city.

“When we get someone like this who is becoming a nuisance and making these false calls it can be very frustrating,” said Chief Stephen Pincus.

In each case, Chief Pincus says fire apparatus was dispatched in an emergency mode to the address.

“The bigger factor is: Did he recognize that he could have potentially caused someone else to have a delayed response because of this when they actually had a real emergency,” said Pincus. “Why would he do something like this?”

Pincus says investigators started to connect the dots after multiple bogus calls were made to the same few addresses across the city.  He says the fire marshal combed through hundreds of phone records and 911 recordings in order to develop probable cause Aursby committed the crimes.

“He would provide details like ‘there is a kitchen on fire’ or ‘I see smoke coming from a building.'”

Aursby is charged with 24 counts of calling or summoning ambulances or fire apparatus without just cause and seven counts of falsely summoning law enforcement officials. He is being held in the Newport News City Jail.

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