MELBOURNE, Fla. — Florida police say a man called 911 to report a possible murder in progress as he was being pulled over.
Dispatchers on the 911 lines took the frantic phone call.
“There is a murder that’s going to happen, I swear, on Wingate, on Wingate, on Wingate and Wickham. No, on Wingate and Hollywood. Definitely someone going to get shot. Please, please, Wingate and Hollywood. Please,” the man said.
When the line went dead, every available officer went to that intersection in West Melbourne, Fla. The caller called back.
“I swear, there’s going to be a murder any second. There’s a man and a gun. Please,” the caller said.
Again, the caller hung up. Dispatchers looked for any information they could get and got the caller’s name.
That name was Julius Lupowitz, and it just so happened that at that same moment, Lupowitz was getting a speeding ticket up the street from the reported intersection.
Police believe that while the officer’s back was turned, Lupowitz made the phony murder phone calls.
“It almost worked,” West Melbourne, FL Police Lt. Rich Cordeau said. “The officer was trying to wrap up quickly to respond.”
But when dispatchers broadcast Lupowitz’s name over the police radio, the officer who was writing the ticket realized what was happening and nailed him.
“When you take a phony incident, and you take those dispatches away from the ability to answer those calls that could put somebody that has a real emergency in danger,” Cordeau said.
Now, instead of a $200 traffic ticket, Lupowitz faces a felony charge that carries a maximum 5-year prison term.