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Man arrested for falsely reporting an emergency

Matthew Hammack, 27 of Charleston, WV was arrested and charged with falsely reporting an...
Matthew Hammack, 27 of Charleston, WV was arrested and charged with falsely reporting an emergency.(Kanawha County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 11:08 AM EST
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SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – A passenger of a car stopped by law enforcement is being accused of trying to divert emergency crews during a traffic stop.

According to the Kanawha County Office, the traffic stop for speeding was initiated November 25 along I-64 near mile-marker 55.

In the criminal complaint, deputies noted the smell of alcohol from inside the vehicle.

Before asking the driver to participate in field sobriety tests, the deputy says he returned to his cruiser to request backup.

While awaiting other units to arrive, a robbery was reported in South Charleston.

The complaint states, a man called 911 saying two men had robbed a gas station off the nearest exit to the traffic stop.

Dispatchers alerted deputies that the phone that dialed 911 to report the robbery was located on I-64 near the traffic stop, not near the store that was alleged robbed.

Law enforcement officers from Charleston Police Department, South Charleston Police Department, and the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office arrived and assisted with detaining the four people inside the vehicle.

When dispatchers called the phone used to dial 911 to report the alleged robbery, a phone in the back seat of the stopped vehicle began ringing.

Both individuals who had been in the back seat denied it was their phone.

One of those individuals offered his own phone in his pocket as proof.  Deputies asked if he would call the phone belonging to the other person who had been sitting in the back seat.

When the man did, the phone in the back seat rang again.

That phone belonged to Matthew Hammack, 27 of Charleston, WV. 

Hammack was arrested and charged with falsely reporting an emergency.

The driver of the stopped vehicle passed field sobriety tests and was cited for speeding before continuing his drive.

According to the release, the cooperation of multiple law enforcement agencies, and the awareness of dispatchers with Metro 911, prevented many police cruisers from dropping other duties to respond to a false robbery call.

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