Friday, March 25, 2005

From the "What a moron!" Department

What is wrong with 23 year olds these days?

NEWARK, N.J. -- A Texas woman who admitted she started the six-hour standoff between police and purported hostage-takers in New Brunswick earlier this week by phoning in a fake emergency call was arrested Thursday and charged with conspiracy and other offenses.

Fatin A. Ward, 23, of Arlington, Texas, told The Associated Press Thursday morning she was playing a telephone game called "bombing" in which people make bogus emergency calls and then see how many law enforcement officers respond. Her mother said Ward has a history of mental illness and has been refusing to take medication.

"I didn't mean to cause any trouble," Ward said in a telephone interview Thursday morning. "It got out of control." The Middlesex County prosecutor's office signed criminal complaints Thursday afternoon against Ward and an alleged accomplice, Wadu Jackson, 20, of Irvington, charging them with conspiracy, initiating a false public alarm, and making a fictitious report to police. Ward was arrested at her home at about noon, said Christy Gilfour, spokeswoman for Arlington, Texas, police. A registered sex offender in Texas, she had been charged in Arlington on Feb. 18 with failing to notify police of her new address.

A month later, after the Union, N.J. police department said Ward was making prank calls to them, Texas authorities moved to revoke her bail because she was continuing to commit crimes, Gilfour said. It was that bond revocation order on which she was arrested Thursday. The Middlesex prosecutor's office asked police in Arlington, Texas, to extradite Ward to New Jersey. Jackson was still being sought in New Jersey on Thursday afternoon.

Ward declined to say exactly what she told police to spark Tuesday's standoff. She told The Star-Ledger of Newark for Thursday's newspapers that she told police she had been handcuffed to a bed, raped and was being held hostage in an apartment. That prompted police to cordon off a neighborhood more than 1,500 miles away.

The standoff ended when three teenagers who were in a third-floor apartment walked out of the house. The teens were taken into custody and then released. Middlesex County First Assistant Prosecutor William Lamb said Thursday that the three teens have been cleared of any criminal activity.

Can you believe that? That's an outrageous "game"! Someone could have gotten killed. It's not smart to amp up cops with tales of rape, cause them to draw their guns, and have them wait and get antsy. I hope this knucklehead gets seriously punished for this.


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