A Florida man was apparently so desperate to get to Hooters that he called 911 and allegedly lied to police about having a sick grandmother.
Jonathan Hinkle, 28, was taken into custody this week, his fourth offense for misusing the 911 system, according to police records.
In the March 5 incident, he allegedly called 911 at 2:30 a.m. and said that his grandmother was having a stroke at Hooters and he needed a ride to meet her, according to police. But he declined medical assistance for her.
"My grandmother is having a stroke... She's at Hooters," he told the 911 operator, according to a recording provided by police.
"She is not able to see real well and she's got a lot of things going on in her life. I was wondering if I could give you guys money just to get me up there to help her. I know this isn't a serious emergency, but my grandma keeps having heart bypasses and she's about to have a stroke."
"Do you know if she is having a stroke now?" the dispatcher asks.
He replied, "No, she just needs my help real bad."
"Let me make sure this is clear," the dispatcher said. "You need assistance getting over to Hooters so you can help your Grandma... but at this time she doesn't need any medical assistance?"
"No," Hinkle said.
When the dispatcher asked why his grandmother was at Hooters, Hinkle said she went to LongHorn Steak House to eat with his family when her vehicle began to malfunction, though police noted that the steakhouse closed 3 1/2 hours before his call.
Police picked up Hinkle at a 7-Eleven in Merritt Island, Fla., and said he was in a panicked state and concerned for his grandmother's safety, then asked for a ride to Hooters and even offered gas money.
When they got there, officers searched for his supposedly distressed grandmother, but found nothing. Hinkle was let out of the police car, thanked the officer and took off running in a "full sprint."
Police later located Hinkle at a Burger King with his girlfriend. He thanked police again and said he located his grandmother and she was OK, and said he was now helping his girlfriend, who was having car trouble.
Hinkle said his grandmother was staying with her daughter and provided her phone number.
Police contacted Hinkle's grandmother and she said she called Hinkle about picking up his clothes, but never said anything about being at Hooters, needing his help or having a stroke.
Cops now believe Hinkle lied about Hooters to help his girlfriend, who had been involved in a car accident nearby.
Misuse of 911 calls is normally a misdemeanor offense, according to Brevard County Sheriff's Office spokesman Tod Goodyear, but because Hinkle's call involved four hours of unnecessary police searching, Hinkle has been charged with a felony.
"The cost of the investigation for us to go out on this wild goose chase, our cost of manpower, time and all that, was over the threshold," Goodyear said.
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