Police tell profane phone caller to hang it up

/ Source: The Associated Press

A Romanian man has been fined for making 6,442 profane phone calls to an emergency number, police said Thursday. The 24-year-old man, who lives in a village in southern Romania, was identified in February and fined $223 in April after a checkup showed he was mentally sound, said Daniela Salaoru, police spokeswoman for Ialomita county police.

Police did not identify the caller. But the Evenimentul Zilei newspaper said he was a well-digger, and reported that he called the 112 emergency number from November to January to swear at the operators. He used a prepaid mobile phone, which does not immediately make it possible to identify the caller.

The newspaper said he denied he was the culprit. It reported that his mother said he was a loner and that she saw him talking on the phone a lot, but did not know with whom.

Romanian authorities say that over 90 percent of calls to 112 are hoaxes or non-emergencies. In November, the European Union, which Romania joined in 2007, threatened legal action against Romania for deficiencies in its 112 system, mainly the failure to locate callers who use mobile phones.

Romanian authorities say the system will begin to locate mobile callers this summer.