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My Most Bizarre Call

Im Mr Morris

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As many know I was a public safety dispatcher in northern Maine for roughly two years. Only recently have I attained a new job in asset protection management after resigning from my county public safety office. Roughly three months ago I received one of the strangest calls I had ever encounter as a dispatcher and I decided to share it here. 

March 22nd, 2021 around 3:30 AM EST.

I received a call and answered with the policy “9-1-1 what’s your emergency?”. Upon saying this the individual who I will keep anonymous replied “Hi this is (John Doe) with Central Maine Power, I wanted to report an electrical fire at my substation”. 

Not long after this I got a weird feeling in my gut, the call didn’t feel right, the CMP “employee” who called sounded strangely calmed for an electrical fire especially at a power substation which in the event of an electrical fire could call for a serious blaze, and that being said we are in northern Maine which is almost entirely wooded, an uncontrolled fire in rural Maine could easily lead to a forest fire. I asked the individual for an address which they gave to me, following suite I contacted a local FD station near the callers given address though it was about 25 minutes out so I informed the CMP employee there would be a delay. 

Things got very weird after this though, after the caller explained to me the size of the fire and the precautions he had claimed to take he asked me “Are you sending the police too?”. Now it IS my business to judge here and having somebody ask me if I am dispatching law enforcement alongside the Fire Department is very out of place. Why would this random CMP employee care if the police were coming or not? In the Maine Criminal Justice Academy where I received my Emergency Telecom training, we spent two weeks delving into psychological understanding of a callers behavior because surprise surprise, 9-1-1 dispatchers are trained to tell when someone is lying or in a scenario where they have to pretend being ok (I.e. a kidnapping situation). 

Originally, I had only dispatched one county unit to maintain traffic control in the event the fire department needed to take up road space with their engines. After having the caller ask me about the presence of police though I decided to flag two Maine State Troopers in the area. I informed the two troopers of the strange request and had them head there as well for a possible situation beyond an electrical fire, like someone who was a hostage and was using that question as a hint to send help. 

The two state troopers arrived before FD and the county unit and when they arrived on scene the first thing they told me is that this power substation was most definitely not in service. The trooper sergeant on scene told me it was rusted and had no active lines. To follow up with this I called the Central Maine Power office where I had one of their night operators tell me the station linked with that address had not been in service since 2003. Things were really weird now. 

The county unit soon arrived afterwards, the fire department was told to wait at their current location as this call was taking a strange turn. Due to the nature of a possible hostage situation, the three responding Law Enforcement Officers went code 4 which meant they would disable their lights before entering the area as not to spook the potential “hostage taker”. This wasn’t the case though. The state troopers who went on foot near the power station ended up finding a Ford F-150 completely blacked out but running. The troopers had approached the vehicle without their flashlights on though upon getting to the truck, it was empty aside from one thing resting on the center console against the drivers side seat, an AR-15. Upon finding a rifle just left about and the very worrying state of the call and the caller who had hung up on me not long after I dispatched the state police, additional law enforcement units were requested by the trooper sergeant in which I had put out a call for any available units to go with the call going from being listed as an “Electrical Fire” to a “Potentially Endangered Individual”. This prompted a response from two more Maine state troopers and one federal fish and game officer who was in a nearby wildlife refugee center. A radio silence was called due to the scenario taking a possible aggressive turn. 

Not even 10 minutes after the troopers found the AR-15 and truck, they spotted a man hunched down in some bushes near the desolate power station, he was commanded to show himself with his hands up which he did, the three officers detained him. This is where I got goosebumps though, the county deputy reported that the man had dropped a Remington 870 Super Mag, a well-known shotgun for bird hunting. This lead to the man who was now detained to be brought to the deputies vehicle while the trooper sergeant and now the recently added federal wildlife officer inspected the shotgun. This man had loaded this 870 up with slugs, a very lethal form of shotgun ammunition compared to the standard birdshot you’d find in one of these shotguns. 

The gun ended up being reported as stolen, this guy had stolen this gun from his now ex-girlfriend, the AR-15 was a ghost gun meaning it was primarily created by him, a majority of the parts aside from the interior receiving being 3D printed making the rifle untraceable, while this was not illegal it was concerning. They found the ID of John Doe in his truck, after pulling his name up in the national database he ended up having an outstanding warrant back in Quebec for assault. This prompted the troopers to take him into state custody which would lead to an INTERPOL intervention to have the individual sent back to Canada. Though, before being sent to Canada he’d be tried in the US for the stolen 870 super mag. 

To this day I still get goosebumps wondering what this man was planning on doing when the fire department and officers had arrived, I can only assume he was planning to ambush them, but why ambush cops when you have warrants? Your guess is as good as mine. 

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