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Kan. woman arrested after April Fools’ prank draws large emergency response

The woman allegedly called her daughter and told her she had been shot

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A Wichita woman was arrested after an April Fools’ Day prank that led to a large emergency response at her home.

Photo/Wichita Police Department

Michael Stavola
The Wichita Eagle

WICHITA, Kan. — A Wichita woman has been arrested after an April Fools’ Day prank that led to her telling her daughter she was shot and police breaking down her door with guns drawn, police say.

Arnthia Willis, 58, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of unlawful request for emergency service assistance.

The shooting was reported at 8:32 a.m. in the 4800 block of East Arlene, which is near 24th North and Oliver.

“Multiple police units, probably between 15-20 officers from the Wichita Police Department as well as fire department and EMS responded to the scene,” police Lt. Ronald Hunt said at the scene.

Police couldn’t reach anyone at the home, so with shields and weapons drawn, they broke down the front door and searched the house. They didn’t find anyone, Hunt said.

“Through further investigation, we learned that this was an April Fools’ joke played on the daughter by the mother,” he said.

Hunt said the mother was at work and called her daughter as a prank. Willis was arrested in Derby by Derby officers, police said.

“April Fools’ can be a good, funny little joke in some circumstances” but when it leads to a police response “it’s not funny any more,” he said. “This is a situation that is very dangerous ... yes it could be a situation where it could be a (swatting call) but that is going to be up to maybe the district attorney.”

Swatting calls are when someone calls 911 and lies about an emergency to create an emergency response to a specific location.


(c)2021 The Wichita Eagle (Wichita, Kan.)