Florida

Florida Man calls 911 to get out of his fast food shift, cops say. It worked. Sort of.

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Do you know what to do if you accidentally dial 911? Do you know what information is crucial in an emergency? Here's what you need to know in North Texas to get the police, fire or ambulance service you need fast.

We don’t want to dump on Hardee’s but how bad is it to work there that you’d make up a crime and report it to 911 just to get out of working your shift?

Thing is: it worked for one Florida man.

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, 32-year-old Brian Anderson of Dundee, a town in the Lakeland-Winter Haven area of Florida, called the emergency-only number on Saturday to report that two armed men robbed him of his necklace, money and phone while he was standing near an intersection off Highway 27.

In a snarky Facebook post, the sheriff’s department said, “Brian of Dundee called 911 to report an armed robbery,” and reiterated what he said the suspects allegedly took and their means of escape in a car. “Deputies quickly responded, along with Air and K-9. That’s a heck of a story, eh? Well, aside from the very first and very last sentence, none of that was true,” deputies wrote.

Officers quickly realized the crime Anderson reported hadn’t happened. The department said Anderson “confessed that he made up the story” because he didn’t want to work his 11 a.m. shift at Hardee’s.

Anderson was charged with misuse of 911 and knowingly giving false information to law enforcement. Both charges carry a $500 apiece bond. He’s still at Polk County Jail.

“If his name was Jussie he’d have gotten away with it,” a Facebook user posted on the department’s thread Tuesday night, referencing yesterday’s controversial development in which prosecutors dropped all 16 charges against “Empire” actor Jessie Smollett but did not exonerate the TV star.

Smollett had reported he’d been the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago but law enforcement believed he’d made the story up.

Back to the Florida man, the Polk County Sheriff’s Department maintained a similar sense of humor: “On the bright side, Brian didn’t have to go to his 11:00 a.m. shift at the restaurant,” the Facebook post said.

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Miami Herald Real Time/Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, a 2017 Media Excellence Awards winner, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, municipal government and general assignment. He started his career in the Features department at the Miami Herald in 1991.


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