Former firefighter charged for prank emergency calls

The firefighter made three separate calls about needed rescues and emergency response

NANTICOKE, Pa. — A former Pa. volunteer firefighter was charged Wednesday for making prank phone calls.

Lee Anthony Beatty, 50, made fake calls forcing his former brothers and sisters rushing to help people that didn't even exist.

The Citizen's Voice reports that Beatty is charged with reporting false alarms to a public safety agency and reckless endangerment.

Beatty allegedly called three times to report false emergencies, including one that sent the Plymouth Township Fire-Rescue Tibury Station firefighters out on a river for two and half hours to only realize no one was in danger.

Police say Beatty made his first call on New Year's Eve night to report a four- or five-car pileup and then called again in January to report a vehicle that had gone off the road that may have gone into a river. He also made a call in early February to report a truck fire.

Beatty reportedly made every call from the same payphone.

Fire officials say crews wasted up to 40 minutes for the New Year's Eve and February calls, but spent over two hours for the alleged river rescue because of having to employ water-rescue equipment including three boats.

"It does get frustrating," Deputy Chief Andy Novak told the paper. "We're not there for somebody's amusement."

Beatty was caught when surveillance footage caught him making the fake calls.

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