AP NEWS

Several false fire alarm texts lead to arrest

October 6, 2018

Emergency services were called seven different times to a structure fire at 340 W. Jefferson Blvd where the Taco Bell fast-food restaurant is located.

The texts placed between Sept. 23 and Wednesday brought out firefighters and police officers, but every time there was an emergency text, there was no fire, court documents said.

Through an investigation, Fort Wayne police Capt. Tom Rotering discovered the false alarms came from the same phone number.

By Wednesday, when the predictable text came at 9:53 p.m. reporting a structure fire at Taco Bell, police were ready. The number was pinged through Metro PCS, the service provider, leading to Marcus Eugene Mitchell Jr., 41, who had holed up at 610 Walnut St.

Police found Mitchell there with his cellphone tucked in his front pocket. The cellphone number matched the one traced to the false alarms, court documents said.

No one else was found in the home, described as being in “various states of remodel.”

Mitchell, who gave his address as the Hometown Inn, refused to talk to a police officer, court documents said.

Mitchell is being held at the Allen County Jail in lieu of $5,250 bail, on seven misdemeanor charges of unlawful use of 911 services where the defendant knowingly or intentionally places a 911 call for a purpose other than obtaining public safety assistance or emergency services. 

jduffy@jg.net

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